Statistical Physics Far from Equilibrium

"Von Neumann once referred to the theory of nonequilibrium systems as the theory of non-elephants.
Nevertheless, we shall attempt such a theory of non-elephants."
(P. Bak and M. Paczuski, 1995)

Time and place of lectures:
Mondays and Wednesdays 16.00-17.30 in the conference room of the theory institute
Problem session (Dr. Ivan Szendro): Wednesdays 17.45-19.15 (note the change!)

Recommended literature

I. Prigogine: Introduction to Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes (2nd Edition, 1961)
N. Pottier, Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics (Oxford University Press, 2010)
The nonequilibrium thermodynamics of small systems by C. Bustamante, J. Liphardt and F. Ritort
A pedestrian's view on interacting particle systems, KPZ universality and random matrices by T. Kriecherbauer and J. Krug
Non-equilibrium statistical mechanics: from a paradigmatic model to biological transport by T. Chou, K. Mallick and R.K.P. Zia
Origins of scale invariance in growth processes by J. Krug (Sections 3 and 4)
A.-L. Barabasi and H.E. Stanley, Fractal Concepts in Suface Growth (Cambridge University Press, 1995)
Random matrices, the Ulam problem, directed polymers & growth models, and sequence matching by S. Majumdar
Power laws, Pareto distributions and Zipf's law by M.E.J. Newman
Diffusion-limited aggregation: A kinetic critical phenomenon? by L.M. Sander
U. Frisch, Turbulence (Cambridge University Press, 1995)
Theory of phase-ordering kinetics by A.J. Bray

Lecture notes

week 14
week 15
week 16
week 17
week 18
week 19
week 20
week 21
week 23
week 24
week 25
week 26
week 27
week 28


Shock formation
Single file diffusion and step fluctuations
KPZ growth models
Tracy-Widom distribution and random permutations
KPZ scaling in experiments
Pareto, Zipf, Mandelbrot: Scale invariance in nature and society

Problem sheets

Problems 1-2
Problems 3-4
Problems 5-6
Problems 7-10
Problems 11-13
Problems 14-15
Problems 16-17
Problems 18-20
Problems 21-22
Problems 23-25
Problems 26-28
Problem 29

Supplementary reading

First chapter of "Pattern Formation and Dynamics in Nonequilibrium Systems" by M. Cross and H. Greenside
Nonequilibrium Equality for Free Energy Differences by C. Jarzynski
Equilibrium information from nonequilibrium measurements in an experimental test of Jarzynski's equality by J. Liphardt et al.
Practical Applicability of the Jarzynski Relation in Statistical Mechanics: A Pedagogical Example by R.C. Lua and A.Y. Grosberg
Emergent physics at the mesoscale Report from a special session at the 2012 March meeting of the American Physical Society
Single-File Diffusion of Colloids in One-Dimensional Channels by Q.-H. Wei, C. Bechinger and P. Leiderer
From Random Walk to Single-File Diffusion by B. Lin, M. Meron, B. Cui, S.A. Rice and H. Diamant
Brownian motion of steps on Si(111) by N.C. Bartelt et al.
Dynamic scaling of growing interfaces by M. Kardar, G. Parisi and Y.-C. Zhang
Extremely large-scale simulation of a Kardar-Parisi-Zhang model using graphics cards by J. Kelling and G. Odor
Large-scale simulations of ballistic deposition: The approach to asymptotic scaling by B. Farnudi and D.D. Vvedensky
The Kardar-Parisi-Zhang equation and universality class by I. Corwin
Evidence for Geometry-Dependent Universal Fluctuations of the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang Interfaces in Liquid-Crystal Turbulence by Kazumasa A. Takeuchi and Masaki Sano


Biography of Murray Eden