An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics

Hardcover | March 9, 2012

byRobert H. Swendsen

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This text presents the two complementary aspects of thermal physics as an integrated theory of the properties of matter. Conceptual understanding is promoted by thorough development of basic concepts. In contrast to many texts, statistical mechanics, including discussion of the requiredprobability theory, is presented first. This provides a statistical foundation for the concept of entropy, which is central to thermal physics. A unique feature of the book is the development of entropy based on Boltzmann's 1877 definition; this avoids contradictions or ad hoc corrections found inother texts. Detailed fundamentals provide a natural grounding for advanced topics, such as black-body radiation and quantum gases. An extensive set of problems (solutions are available for lecturers through the OUP website), many including explicit computations, advance the core content by probing essentialconcepts. The text is designed for a two-semester undergraduate course but can be adapted for one-semester courses emphasizing either aspect of thermal physics. It is also suitable for graduate study.

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This text presents the two complementary aspects of thermal physics as an integrated theory of the properties of matter. Conceptual understanding is promoted by thorough development of basic concepts. In contrast to many texts, statistical mechanics, including discussion of the requiredprobability theory, is presented first. This prov...

Robert H. Swendsen is Professor of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University, where he works primarily in computational statistical mechanics. Professor Swendsen is a Fellow of both the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was given an IBM Outstanding Achievement Award in 1981 and shared...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:419 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.98 inPublished:March 9, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199646945

ISBN - 13:9780199646944

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Table of Contents

1. IntroductionI Entropy2. Classical Ideal Gas3. Discrete probability theory4. Configurational entropy5. Continuous random numbers6. Classical ideal gas: Energy7. Ideal and "real" gases8. T, P, u, and all thatII Introduction to Thermodynamics9. Postulates and Laws of thermodynamics10. Thermodynamic perturbations11. Thermodynamic processes12. Thermodynamic potentials13. Extensivity14. Thermodynamic identities15. Extremum principles16. Stability conditions17. Phase transitions18. Nernst postulateIII Classical statistical mechanics19. Classical ensembles20. Classical ensembles: grand and otherwise21. IrreversibilityIV Quantum statistical mechanics22. Quantum ensembles23. Quantum canoncial ensemble24. Black-body radiation25. The harmonic solid26. Ideal quantum gases27. Bose-Einstein statistics28. Fermi-Dirac statistics29. Insulators and semiconductors30. The Ising model

Editorial Reviews

"Swendsen is famous for developing Monte Carlo algorithms which dramatically speed up the simulation of many systems near a phase transition. The ideas for those algorithms required deep understanding of statistical mechanics, an understanding which is now fully applied to this excellenttextbook." --Peter Young, University of California, USA