Thermal Physics

Thermal Physics

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Ralph Baierlein
Cambridge University Press
Edition: Illustrated, 1/29/2010
EAN 9780521658386, ISBN10: 0521658381

Paperback, 460 pages, 24.4 x 17 x 2.8 cm
Language: English

Clear and reader-friendly, this is an ideal textbook for students seeking an introduction to thermal physics. Written by an experienced teacher and extensively class-tested, Thermal Physics provides a comprehensive grounding in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and kinetic theory. A key feature of this text is its readily accessible introductory chapters, which begin with a review of fundamental ideas. Entropy, conceived microscopically and statistically, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics are introduced early in the book. Throughout, topics are built on a conceptual foundation of four linked elements: entropy and the Second Law, the canonical probability distribution, the partition function, and the chemical potential. As well as providing a solid preparation in the basics of the subject, the text goes on to explain exciting recent developments such as Bose-Einstein condensation and critical phenomena. Key equations are highlighted throughout, and each chapter contains a summary of essential ideas and an extensive set of problems of varying degrees of difficulty. A free solutions manual is available for instructors (ISBN 0521 658608). Thermal Physics is suitable for both undergraduates and graduates in physics and astronomy.

1. Background
2. The second law of thermodynamics
3. Entropy and efficiency
4. Entropy in quantum theory
5. The canonical probability distribution
6. Photons and phonons
7. The chemical potential
8. The quantum ideal gas
9. Fermions and bosons at low temperature
10. The free energies
11. Chemical equilibrium
12. Phase equilibrium
13. The classical limit
14. Approaching zero
15. Transport processes
16. Critical phenomena
Appendix A. Physical and mathematical data
Appendix B. Examples of estimating occupation numbers
Appendix C. The framework of probability theory
Appendix D. Qualitative perspectives on the van der Waals equation

'This book is a superb introduction to the key concepts of statistical mechanics, thoroughly modern in approach with current topics emphasized as well as basic principles. Baierlein's characteristic clarity of exposition makes the book ideal for self-study as well as for classroom use.' H. Eugene Stanley, Boston University