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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Statistical Mechanics: The Academic Discipline that Connects the Micro-world with the Macro-world

Masanori Mikoshiba
4th year student at the School of Fundamental Science and Engineering
Yurie Oka
3rd year student at the School of Fundamental Science and Engineering

From atoms to the solar system. Professor Tomohiro Yanao clearly explains the profound world of statistical mechanics.

In the world in which we live, things of various sizes exist, from micro to macro, which making up a layered structure. For example, as things that are micro, there are atoms and molecules. These make up various substances within an organism, including DNA and protein. Moreover, cells are constituted by skillfully bringing these together, and living things are then made by gathering these cells. Furthermore, environments, such as nature and society, are created by assembling these living things. The earth as well is a collection of these environments and together with other planets makes up the solar system. Moreover, this solar system is one part of the galaxy and the galaxy is one part of the multilayered structure of the universe as a component of a group of galaxies.

Approaching the mysteries of this layered structure, which has been spontaneously formed from the birth of the universe, statistical mechanics is an academic discipline which builds a theoretical bridge linking the micro-world with the macro-world.

Accordingly, in lessons of statistical mechanics, we aim to simply and more deeply understand various phenomena in the macroscopic world we see from a perspective of mechanical laws in the microscopic world on an atomic and molecular scale. Specifically, we learn various theories of statistical distribution which describe the equilibrium state of matter and then link this to the understanding of various physical properties. Moreover, beyond the basics, we study the theoretical foundations of Brownian motion as a primer to statistical mechanics of the non-equilibrium systems.

The explanations of the Assistant Professor Tomohiro Yanao are easy to understand and the lesson materials he has made accurately explain in even more detail the lesson contents each time. Furthermore, in these materials, there are introductions to various famous books in each field that is treated in the lessons, and his personality, as well as his flexible and sincere attitude toward the academic discipline, is fully reflected in these. Due to all of the above, we recommend these classes not only to those with an interest in science, but to all those that wish to have a broader outlook on life.

Summarized figure of sizes in a length scale from atoms to the universe

This is a chart that shows the multilayered structure of nature. Smaller systems are harmoniously embedded into larger systems and the entire universe has a "nesting" structure.