PCC-34303 Statistical Thermodynamics

This Study Handbook is published with reservation. It is not official yet.

Code last year: (PCC-50803)


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. FAM Leermakers
dr. ir. PA Barneveld
prof. dr. ir. J van der Gucht
dr. RJ de Vries
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. FAM Leermakers
dr. ir. PA Barneveld
dr. RJ de Vries
prof. dr. ir. J van der Gucht
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. J van der Gucht
prof. dr. ir. FAM Leermakers

Language of instruction:

NL and/or EN

Assumed knowledge on:

PCC-22306 Driving Forces in Chemistry, Physics and Biology.

Continuation courses:

Thesis Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter.


Molecular modelling becomes increasingly important in the research arena. This course deals with the basic theory needed for the modelling of molecular systems. We will give a statistical interpretation of concepts known from classical thermodynamics. The Boltzmann distributions plays a central role. We study both simple systems, such as the ideal gas, but also elaborate on more complex systems, phase transitions and the mean field approximation, to name a few. Illustrations are taken from the field of physical chemistry and interfacial science, but we stress that the approach that is discussed is not limited to this.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand and apply the machinery of statistical thermodynamics;
- work with Boltzmann distributions;
- formulate partition functions and extract measurable quantities from these;
- solve simple partition functions and have insight in strategies to approximate more complex ones, in particular the mean-field approximation;
- understand how computer simulations can help to evaluate molecularly realistic models;
- understand how measurable quantities can be extracted from computer simulations.


- lectures;
- practical and problem solving in the field of statistical thermodynamics.


Written exam with open questions.


To be announced.

Restricted Optional for: MMLMolecular Life SciencesMScD: Spec. D Physical Chemistry3MO