• Class Number 3507
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Vladimir Mangazeev
    • Prof John Close
    • AsPr Vladimir Mangazeev
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

This core physics course develops statistical mechanics and condensed matter physics. It is based on the textbook Introduction to Statistical Physics by Kerson Huang, and will cover thermodynamics and the various ensembles in statistical physics. We then move onto phase transitions, noise, the Langevin equation, and quantum systems such as Bose and Fermi gases. To conclude we examine order parameters, superconductivity and superuidity. It is a course of essential importance for all students wishing to understand condensed matter and many-body systems.

This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Apply classical equilibrium thermodynamics to make physical predictions.
  2. Discuss the effects of quantum mechanics on statistical mechanics.
  3. Use computer simulation techniques to model physical systems with noise, such as the Langevin equation.
  4. Apply statistical mechanics to condensed matter systems and to such examples as the Bose and Fermi gases, and superconductors.
  5. Explain how the order parameter is used in describing phase transitions.
  6. Develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities with application to a diverse range of practical problems in classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.
  7. Demonstrate high level oral and written communication skills

Research-Led Teaching

This course covers all the important parts of classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. On top of this we introduce computer simulations and examine the applications of statistical physics to systems well-outside of traditional physics - forest fires, financial systems, models of human populations etc.  We finish off by looking at applications of statphys to condensed matter systems via the Landau-Ginzburg theory of phase transitions, Bose-Einsten condensation, superfluidity and superconductivity. By the end of this course students should be able to apply the techniques of thermodynamics and statistical physics to a broad range of physical (and in some cases non-physical) systems.

Required Resources

Introduction to Statistical Physics by Kerson Huang, 2nd edition, CRC press, ISBN 978-1-4200-7902-9

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 The face-to face component of this course has been adjusted for remote delivery. Lectures are prerecorded and relevant materials will be provided to students on Wattle. The weekly workshop will be delivered on campus and simultaneously by Zoom

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Wattle Quizzes 8 % * * 1,2,4,5,6
Short Wattle Quizzes 3 % * * 1,2,4,5,6
Tutorial Homework Questions 10 % * * 1,2,4,5,6,7
One Traditional problems assignment 5 % 20/05/2022 * 1,2,4,5,6
Computational Projects 8 % 06/05/2022 * 3,6
Essay or Video 6 % 27/05/2022 * 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
Mid-semester exam 25 % 28/03/2022 22/04/2022 1,2,3,4,5,6
Final Exam 35 % 02/06/2022 30/06/2022 1,2,3,4,5,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


This course has been adjusted for remote participation. All lectures will be supplied as pdf files together with live or ZOOM video recordings. All assessment will be done online including quizzes, assignments and presentation. Examinations will be in dual mode: in class and via ZOOM sessions. Remote students are requested to provide uninterrrupted video in ZOOM during the exam. They need to scan and upload on Wattle their workings after the exam.


Please refer to the ANU examination timetable for exam scheduling.

Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date for mid-semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held; the due and return date for end of semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and the date official end of Semester results are released on ISIS. Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 8 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5,6

Wattle Quizzes

There are two Wattle quizzes per week. They will be marked automatically upon completion. There are approximately 24 of each tasks due over the semester. Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 3 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5,6

Short Wattle Quizzes

There is one short Wattle quiz per week. It must be answered during tutorial time and will be marked automatically upon completion. There are approximately 12 of each task due over the semester. Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5,6,7

Tutorial Homework Questions

There is one Tute homework question per week. Students should upload their written solution on Wattle by the next tutorial. They will be manually marked within one week.

There are approximately 11 of each tasks due over the semester. Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site. Students are expected to contribute on an on-going basis throughout the semester.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 20/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5,6

One Traditional problems assignment

One traditional assignment will test students' understanding of the studied material. It will be submitted online and the marked assignments will be returned one week after submission.

Due: Friday Week 10

Assessment Task 5

Value: 8 %
Due Date: 06/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 3,6

Computational Projects

There will be computational Projects testing the ability to apply computational methods for analysis of statistical systems. Students will write a computer code, output some data and draw some graphs on a chosen topic. There will be two projects due over the semester.

Project 1 due date: Friday Week 6

Project 2 due date: Friday Week 8

It is expected that marked projects will be returned within 2 weeks from submission.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 6 %
Due Date: 27/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Essay or Video

There will be one open-ended assignment in the form of a written report or video. It can be based on a computer simulation or learning a topic not covered in lectures. Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site.

Due: Friday Week 11

Assessment Task 7

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 28/03/2022
Return of Assessment: 22/04/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Mid-semester exam

The date range is an general indication of when the mid-semester exam will be held. Please check the course Wattle site and the ANU Examination Timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the end of semester exam.

Assessment Task 8

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 02/06/2022
Return of Assessment: 30/06/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Final Exam

The date range indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the course Wattle site and the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the exam.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission of online quizzes is not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission of written tasks is permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

All written assignments will be returned via Wattle.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmittion of assignments is not permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Vladimir Mangazeev

Research Interests

  • Integrable Systems
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Conformal Field Theory
  • Physical Combinatorics
  • Mathematical Methods in Physics

AsPr Vladimir Mangazeev

By Appointment
Prof John Close

Research Interests

Prof John Close

AsPr Vladimir Mangazeev

Research Interests

AsPr Vladimir Mangazeev

By Appointment

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