Northwestern University: Course Descriptions         Spring 1999

Physics D16-2 - 20

Instructor: Predrag Cvitanovic'
Office Address: Tech F332
Phone: 491-3235
Instructor home page:

Time: TTH 12:30-2:00
Room: L168 TCH
Expected Enrollment: 10
The renormalization theory is one of the crown jewels of theoretical physics. In this course we will focus on field theory, perturbation theory (Feynman diagrammatic methods) and the Kadanoff-Wilson renormalization group - the material covered in Chapter 5 of Chaikin and Lubensky. We start by reviewing the Landau theory of second-order phase transitions and then discuss fluctuations, scaling theory, and critical phenomena. This course complements (but does not require as a prerequsite) J. Sauls' winter quarter 1999 course, as well as other other graduate condensed matter and field theory courses.

TEXT: P.M. Chaikin and T.C. Lubensky, Principles of condensed matter physics (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1995). The book should be in stock at Great Expectations,911 Foster, Evanston, tel. (847) 864-3881,

START: Tuesday, March 29, 12:30 in Tech L168.

PREREQUISITES: Previous exposure to statistical mechanics on the level of mean field theory of phase transitions.

TEACHING METHOD: Three lectures per week.

EVALUATION METHOD: One or more midterms, homework, and a take-home final exam.

COURSE HOME PAGE:  . Please contact if you intend to take this course (to gauge the number of books to order).

26 Feb 1999