An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics (Oxford Graduate Texts)

An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics (Oxford Graduate Texts)

By: Robert H. Swendsen (author)Hardback

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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 required probability 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 in other 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 essential concepts. 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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About Author

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 a Forefronts of Large-Scale Computational Problems Award with S. Kumar, J.M. Rosenberg, and P.A. Kollman in 1991.


1. Introduction ; I ENTROPY ; 2. Classical Ideal Gas ; 3. Discrete probability theory ; 4. Configurational entropy ; 5. Continuous random numbers ; 6. Classical ideal gas: Energy ; 7. Ideal and "real" gases ; 8. T, P, , and all that ; II INTRODUCTION TO THERMODYNAMICS ; 9. Postulates and Laws of thermodynamics ; 10. Thermodynamic perturbations ; 11. Thermodynamic processes ; 12. Thermodynamic potentials ; 13. Extensivity ; 14. Thermodynamic identities ; 15. Extremum principles ; 16. Stability conditions ; 17. Phase transitions ; 18. Nernst postulate ; III CLASSICAL STATISTICAL MECHANICS ; 19. Classical ensembles ; 20. Classical ensembles: grand and otherwise ; 21. Irreversibility ; IV QUANTUM STATISTICAL MECHANICS ; 22. Quantum ensembles ; 23. Quantum canoncial ensemble ; 24. Black-body radiation ; 25. The harmonic solid ; 26. Ideal quantum gases ; 27. Bose-Einstein statistics ; 28. Fermi-Dirac statistics ; 29. Insulators and semiconductors ; 30. The Ising model

Product Details

  • publication date: 01/03/2012
  • ISBN13: 9780199646944
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 432
  • ID: 9780199646944
  • weight: 996
  • ISBN10: 0199646945

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