Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years (1.8.2018-31.7.2020), which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After the course the student

  1. Can explain the basic concepts of statistical physics, which include micro- and macrostates, ensembles, partition function, Boltzmann distribution, and equipartition theorem.
  2. Can explain, starting from the statistical definitions, the concepts of temperature, entropy and thermodynamic potentials.
  3. Can identify the quantum-mechanical density operator corresponding to a basic quantum system.
  4. Can solve basic master equation for a quantum two-level system.
  5. Applications of quantum thermodynamics: heat transport, thermometry and refrigeration

Credits: 5

Schedule: 11.01.2021 - 24.02.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Jukka Pekola

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Jukka Pekola

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The basic concepts and assumptions of statistical mechanics. The basics of ensemble theory: microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical ensembles. Entropy, temperature, and thermodynamic potentials. Quantum density operator in statistical physics. Energy dissipation and decoherence of two-level quantum systems from the statistical physics point of view. Introduction to the theory of quantum thermodynamics and applications. 


Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Teaching methods: lectures and exercises 

    Assessment methods: exercises and exam

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Lectures: 24 h, exercises: 12 h, exam: 3 h + independent work


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    S. J. Blundell and K. M. Blundell, Concepts in Thermal Physics (Oxford University Press 2006) and lecture notes on quantum thermodynamics and applications.

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    PHYS-C0220 Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Course Quantum Mechanics (QT) or otherwise corresponding knowledge. 



Registration and further information