Statistical Mechanics, Critical Phenomena and Renormalization Group

The course is designed as an introduction to the methods of statistical mechanics and evolves into critical phenomena and the renormalization group.
The analogy between statistical field theory and quantum field theory may be addressed throughout the course.
Key concept which will be emphasized in this course is universality; we concern systems with a large number of degrees of freedom which may interact with each other in a complicated and possibly highly non-linear manner, according to laws which we may not understand. However, we may be able to make progress in understanding behavior of such problems by identifying a few relevant variables at particular scales. The renormalization group addresses such a mechanism.
Some selected topics are planned to be covered, such as conformal field theory, vector models/matrix models, SLE.

Prerequisites or Prior Knowledge

Students should have knowledge of Classical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics to advanced undergraduate level.