PHYS-8803 School of Physics

Critical phenomena, fractals and all that jazz

INSTRUCTOR: Predrag Cvitanović
TIME: Fall semester 2006 - Tue, Thu 9:35-10:55am in Howey W505

TEACHING METHOD: Two lectures per week, homework sets, and a term project or a final exam.
START: Tue, Aug 22, 2006


The renormalization theory is one of the crown jewels of theoretical physics. We start by reviewing the Landau theory of second-order phase transitions and then discuss mean-field theory, fluctuations, scaling theory, and critical phenomena. We then introduce basic concepts of field theory, perturbation theory (Feynman diagrammatic methods), and develop the Kadanoff-Wilson renormalization group, the Feigenbaum theory of transitions to chaos, and fractal phenomena measured in condensed matter experiments.

The course complements (but does not require as a prerequisite) J. Bellissard's Fall 2006 statistical mechanics course, as well as other other graduate condensed matter and field theory courses.


Leo P. Kadanoff, Statistical Physics: Statics, Dynamics and Renormalization (World Scientific, Singapore 2000)
All chapter and exercise numbers refer to this book, unless stated otherwise.
P. Cvitanović, Field theory webbook
P. Cvitanović, Quantum Field Theory lecture notes

Predrag.Cvitanovic [ snail ] -- last revised Aug 14 2006