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Statistical Physics

What happens when ice melts or a material becomes superconducting? A small change in external parameters can have a big impact on material properties. Phase transition is a core physics concept explored in this course. Statistical physics provides a link between the visible macroscopic properties of a system and its microscopic details.

Information for admitted students Spring 2021

Congratulations! You have been admitted at Stockholm University and we hope that you will enjoy your studies with us.

In order to ensure that your studies begin as smoothly as possible we have compiled a short checklist for the beginning of the semester.

Follow the instructions on wether you have to reply to your offer or not.


Checklist for admitted students

  1. Activate your university account

    The first step in being able to register and gain access to all the university's IT services.

  2. Register at your department

    Registration can be done in different ways. Read the instructions from your department below.

  3. Read all the information on this page

    Here you will find what you need to know before your course or programme starts.


Your seat may be withdrawn if you do not register according to the instructions provided by your department.

Information from your department

On this page you will shortly find information on registration, learning platform, etc.

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Stockholm University organises a series of welcome activities that stretch over a few weeks at the beginning of each semester. The programme is voluntary (attendance is optional) and includes Arrival Service at the airport and an Orientation Day, see more details about these events below.
Your department may also organise activities for welcoming international students. More information will be provided by your specific department. 

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Left: superconductivity. Right: Bose-Einstein condensate
Left: magnet levitating above a superconductor. Right: Velocity distributions of rubidium atoms confirming the existence of the Bose Einstein condensate.

This course describes the thermal properties of several systems in equilibrium with an emphasis on explaining the phenomena of Phase transitions. The models and their relevance for physical systems that are treated include: the Ising model, the Van-der-Waals fluid and some introduction to the XY and Heisenberg models. Some of the topics covered are convexity properties of the Free energy, methods for exact solutions, order parameters, mean-field theories, the Landau theory of phase transition and its limitations, spontaneous symmetry breaking, first and second order phase transitions, scaling and universality classes and the Kosterlitz Thouless phase transition.

Teaching during the spring semester 2021

Teaching will be done remotely. The course is examined through hand in exercises and a remote monitored written exam.

The course is using the Athena learning platform.

  • Course structure

    This is a second cycle course given at half speed during daytime. This course can also be taken as a third cycle course.

    Teaching format

    The teaching consists of lectures and problem solving sessions.


    The course is examined by a final written examination, and continual assessment through weekly hand-in assignments which can earn the students some bonus points.


    Supriya Krishnamurthy

    Phone: +468 5537 8741


  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    “Lectures on Phase Transitions and the Renormalization Group,” by Nigel Goldenfeld, Addison Wesley (1992)

  • Course reports

  • Contact

    Course coordinator and teacher:
    Supriya Krishnamurthy, tel: 08 5537 8741, e-mail:

    Alexandre Adler, e-mail:


    Academic advisor at the Department of Physics:

    Student office: