Following the Boltzmann-Gibbs approach to statistical mechanics, this new edition of Dr ter Haar's important textbook, Elements of Statistical Mechanics, provides undergraduates and more senior academics with a thorough introduction to the subject. Each chapter is followed by a problem section and detailed bibliography.
The first six chapters of the book provide a thorough introduction to the basic methods of statistical mechanics and indeed the first four may be used as an introductory course in themselves. The last three chapters offer more detail on the equation of state, with special emphasis on the van der Waals gas; the second-quantisation approach to many-body systems, with an examination of two-time temperature-dependent Green functions; phase transitions, including various approximation methods for treating the Ising model, a brief discussion of the exact solution of the two-dimensional square Ising model, and short introductions to renormalisation group methods and the Yang and Lee theory of phase transitions. In the problem section which follows each chapter the reader is asked to complete proofs of basic theory and to apply that theory to various physical situations. Each chapter bibliography includes papers which are of historical interest. A further help to the reader are the solutions to selected problems which appear at the end of the book.