Intended for beginning graduate students or advanced undergraduates, this text covers the statistical basis of thermodynamics, including examples from solid-state physics. It also treats some topics of more recent interest such as phase transitions and non-equilibrium phenomena. The presentation introducesmodern concepts, such as the thermodynamic limit and equivalence of Gibbs ensembles, and uses simple models (ideal gas, Einstein solid, simple paramagnet) and many examples to make the mathematical ideas clear. Frequently used mathematical methods are discussed in detail and reviews in an appendix. The book begins with a review of statistical methods and classical thermodynamics, making it suitable for students from a variety of backgrounds. Statistical mechanics is formulated in the microcanonical ensemble; some simple arguments and many examples are used to construct th canonical and grand-canonical ensembles. The discussion of quantum statistical mechanics includes Bose and Fermi ideal gases, the Bose-Einstein condensation, blackbody radiation, phonons and magnons. The van der Waals and Curoe-Weiss phenomenological models are used to illustrate the classical theories of phase transitions and critical phenomena; modern developments are intorducted with discussions of the Ising model, scaling theory, and renormalization-group ideas. The book concludes withy two chapters on nonequilibrium phenomena: one using Boltzmann's kinetic approach, and the other based on stochastic methods. Exercises at the end of each chapter are an integral part of the course, clarifying and extending topics discussed in the text. Hints and solutions can be found on the author's web site.
From the reviews:
It is written in an informal, physics type style, but presents precise and well explained arguments. The list of references is well chosen and contains comments which facilitate further readings.
"This book is addressed to physics students at the senior undergraduate or beginning graduate level. As such, it emphasizes physical intuition and central physical arguments over detailed mathematical justification. ... Physics students will enjoy the clarity and calculated simplicity of its presentation, while acquiring a broad knowledge of the subject. But, because of its careful selection of conceptual issues and its unassuming style, the book can also be a useful reference to students in other disciplines, including mathematics ... ." (Roberto Fernandez, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2003 e)
"Statistical physics attempts to explain ... laws by considering the large number of constituent particles from a statistical point of view. This is also the point of view of this textbook ... . It is written in an informal, physics type style, but presents precise and well explained arguments. It supports intuition more than formalism, and discusses a large number of relevant examples and models. ... The list of references is well chosen and contains comments which facilitate further readings." (Michael Baake, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 983, 2002)
Series: Graduate Texts in Contemporary Physics
Number Of Pages: 378
Published: 8th February 2001
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5
Weight (kg): 0.73