Statistical physics and thermodynamics describe the behaviour of systems on the macroscopic scale. Their methods are applicable to a wide range of phenomena: from refrigerators to the interior of stars, from chemical reactions to magnetism. Indeed, of all physical laws, the laws of thermodynamics are perhaps the most universal. This text provides a concise yet thorough introduction to the key concepts which underlie statistical physics and thermodynamics. It begins with a review of classical probability theory and quantum theory, as well as a careful discussion of the notions of information and entropy, prior to embarking on the development of statistical physics proper. The crucial steps leading from the microscopic to the macroscopic domain are rendered transparent. In particular, the laws of thermodynamics are shown to emerge as natural consequences of the statistical framework. While the emphasis is on clarifying the basic concepts, the text also contains many applications and classroom-tested exercises, covering all major topics of a standard course on statistical physics and thermodynamics.
Author: Robert H. Swendsen
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2012-03-01
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.
This textbook offers an advanced undergraduate or initial graduate level introduction to topics such as kinetic theory, equilibrium statistical mechanics and the theory of fluctuations from a modern perspective. The aim is to provide the reader with the necessary tools of probability theory and thermodynamics (especially the thermodynamic potentials) to enable subsequent study at advanced graduate level. At the same time, the book offers a bird's eye view on arguments that are often disregarded in the main curriculum courses. Further features include a focus on the interdisciplinary nature of the subject and in-depth discussion of alternative interpretations of the concept of entropy. While some familiarity with basic concepts of thermodynamics and probability theory is assumed, this does not extend beyond what is commonly obtained in basic undergraduate curriculum courses.
Author: Stephen Blundell
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2010
This text provides a modern introduction to the main principles of thermal physics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. The key concepts are presented and new ideas are illustrated with worked examples as well as description of the historical background to their discovery.
Author: Daniel M. Zuckerman
Publisher: CRC Press
Release Date: 2010-06-02
From the hydrophobic effect to protein-ligand binding, statistical physics is relevant in almost all areas of molecular biophysics and biochemistry, making it essential for modern students of molecular behavior. But traditional presentations of this material are often difficult to penetrate. Statistical Physics of Biomolecules: An Introduction brings "down to earth" some of the most intimidating but important theories of molecular biophysics. With an accessible writing style, the book unifies statistical, dynamic, and thermodynamic descriptions of molecular behavior using probability ideas as a common basis. Numerous examples illustrate how the twin perspectives of dynamics and equilibrium deepen our understanding of essential ideas such as entropy, free energy, and the meaning of rate constants. The author builds on the general principles with specific discussions of water, binding phenomena, and protein conformational changes/folding. The same probabilistic framework used in the introductory chapters is also applied to non-equilibrium phenomena and to computations in later chapters. The book emphasizes basic concepts rather than cataloguing a broad range of phenomena. Focuses on what students need to know now Students build a foundational understanding by initially focusing on probability theory, low-dimensional models, and the simplest molecular systems. The basics are then directly developed for biophysical phenomena, such as water behavior, protein binding, and conformational changes. The book’s accessible development of equilibrium and dynamical statistical physics makes this a valuable text for students with limited physics and chemistry backgrounds.
Author: João Paulo Casquilho
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2014-12-18
Rigorous and comprehensive, this textbook introduces undergraduate students to simulation methods in statistical physics. The book covers a number of topics, including the thermodynamics of magnetic and electric systems; the quantum-mechanical basis of magnetism; ferrimagnetism, antiferromagnetism, spin waves and magnons; liquid crystals as a non-ideal system of technological relevance; and diffusion in an external potential. It also covers hot topics such as cosmic microwave background, magnetic cooling and Bose-Einstein condensation. The book provides an elementary introduction to simulation methods through algorithms in pseudocode for random walks, the 2D Ising model, and a model liquid crystal. Any formalism is kept simple and derivations are worked out in detail to ensure the material is accessible to students from subjects other than physics.
Author: Bimalendu N. Roy
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2002-03-01
"Fundamentals of Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics" provides a comprehensive introduction to this pivotal subject. Starting from basics, the book begins with a thorough introduction to the field, providing concise definitions and an overview of thermodynamics and its applications. The book discusses the fundamentals of classical equilibrium thermodynamics, thermal physics, kinetic theory and statistical mechanics. This comprehensive coverage enables the reader to understand not only the interrelationships between these subjects but also encourages an ability to interpret the thermodynamic quantities and laws in terms of statistical mechanics. Beginning with a detailed discussion of the four laws of thermodynamics the text introduces more advanced topics in later chapters, such as applications of the first and second laws, free energy and chemical equilibria, and equilibrium statististical mechanics and applications. Uniquely, this text includes a large number of worked examples throughout, with a range of problems at the end of each chapter and their solutions all at the end of the book. The most fundamental concepts of the subject are emphasised throughout and new derivations of many of the standard formulae have been developed to avoid excessive mathematical rigour. "Fundamentals of Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics: " Provides a comprehensive introduction to the field, covering both classical and statistical thermodynamics. Includes numerous worked examples and end of chapter problems with answers provided at the back of the book. Covers the essentials of the subject combined with cutting-edge material such as non-linear chemical physics, critical phenomena and transport theory. Ensures the necessary mathematics are limited to simple derivatives and integrals. Suitable for all undergraduate students of physics, chemistry, materials science and engineering. Will also be an ideal reference book for those working within science and engineering.
Author: Michael J.R. Hoch
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 2016-04-19
Concepts and relationships in thermal and statistical physics form the foundation for describing systems consisting of macroscopically large numbers of particles. Developing microscopic statistical physics and macroscopic classical thermodynamic descriptions in tandem, Statistical and Thermal Physics: An Introduction provides insight into basic concepts at an advanced undergraduate level. Highly detailed and profoundly thorough, this comprehensive introduction includes exercises within the text as well as end-of-chapter problems. The first section of the book covers the basics of equilibrium thermodynamics and introduces the concepts of temperature, internal energy, and entropy using ideal gases and ideal paramagnets as models. The chemical potential is defined and the three thermodynamic potentials are discussed with use of Legendre transforms. The second section presents a complementary microscopic approach to entropy and temperature, with the general expression for entropy given in terms of the number of accessible microstates in the fixed energy, microcanonical ensemble. The third section emphasizes the power of thermodynamics in the description of processes in gases and condensed matter. Phase transitions and critical phenomena are discussed phenomenologically. In the second half of the text, the fourth section briefly introduces probability theory and mean values and compares three statistical ensembles. With a focus on quantum statistics, the fifth section reviews the quantum distribution functions. Ideal Fermi and Bose gases are considered in separate chapters, followed by a discussion of the "Planck" gas for photons and phonons. The sixth section deals with ideal classical gases and explores nonideal gases and spin systems using various approximations. The final section covers special topics, specifically the density matrix, chemical reactions, and irreversible thermodynamics.
Author: Don Koks
Release Date: 2019-01-10
Statistical mechanics: the bane of many a physics student, and traditionally viewed as a long parade of ensembles, partition functions, and partial derivatives. But the subject needn't be arcane. When pared back to its underlying concepts and built from the ground up, statistical mechanics takes on a charm of its own, and sheds light on all manner of physical phenomena. This book presents a straightforward introduction to the key concepts in statistical mechanics, following the popular style of the author's highly successful textbook "Explorations in Mathematical Physics". Offering a clear, conceptual approach to the subject matter, the book presents a treatment that is mathematically complete, while remaining very accessible to undergraduates. It commences by asking: why does an ink drop spread out in a bathtub of water? This showcases the importance of counting configurations, which leads naturally to ideas of microstates, energy, entropy, thermodynamics, and physical chemistry. With this foundation, the Boltzmann distribution writes itself in its fullest form, and this opens the door to the Maxwell distribution and related areas of thermal conductivity and viscosity. Quantum ideas then appear: bosons via Einstein's and Debye's theories of heat capacity, and fermions via electrical conduction and low-temperature heat capacity of metals. The text ends with a detailed derivation of blackbody radiation, and uses this to discuss the greenhouse effect, lasers, and cosmology. Suitable for use with core undergraduate courses in statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, this book concentrates on using solid mathematics, while avoiding cumbersome notation. All the necessary mathematical steps are included in the body of the text and in the worked examples. Reviews of Explorations in Mathematical Physics by Don Koks, 2006 "With enjoyable and sometimes surprising excursions along the way, the journey provides a fresh look at many familiar topics, as it takes us from basic linear mathematics to general relativity... look forward to having your geometric intuition nourished and expanded by the author's intelligent commentaries." (Eugen Merzbacher, University of North Carolina) "... an interesting supplement to standard texts for teaching mathematical methods in physics, as it will add alternative views that could serve as additional material." (S. Marcelja, Australian Journal of Physics) "... a tour through the main ideas forming the language of modern mathematical physics ...it is a difficult task for the author to decide what is a good balance between the topics and their presentation, but in this case it has been achieved. ...for those physicists who would like to be exposed to clear motivation and careful explanation of the basics of the present-day apparatus of mathematical physics." (Ivailo Mladenov, Mathematical Reviews).
Author: Daniel V. Schroeder
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Statistical dynamics
This text provides a balanced, well-organized treatment of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, making thermal physics interesting and accessible to anyone who has completed a year of calculus-based introductory physics. Part I introduces essential concepts of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics from a unified view, applying concepts in a select number of illustrative examples. Parts II and III explore further applications of classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Throughout, the emphasis is on real-world applications.
This original text develops a deep, conceptual understanding of thermal physics and highlights the important links between statistical physics and classical thermodynamics. It examines how thermal physics fits within physics as a whole, and is perfect for undergraduate and graduate students, and researchers interested in a fresh approach to the subject.