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All macroscopic systems consist ultimately of atoms obeying the laws of quantum mechanics. That premise forms the basis for this comprehensive text, intended for a first upper-level course in statistical and thermal physics. Reif emphasizes that the combination of microscopic concepts with some statistical postulates leads readily to conclusions on a purely macroscopic level. The authors writing style and penchant for description energize interest in condensed matter physics as well as provide a conceptual grounding with information that is crystal clear and memorable. Reif first introduces basic probability concepts and statistical methods used throughout all of physics. Statistical ideas are then applied to systems of particles in equilibrium to enhance an understanding of the basic notions of statistical mechanics, from which derive the purely macroscopic general statements of thermodynamics. Next, he turns to the more complicated equilibrium situations, such as phase transformations and quantum gases, before discussing nonequilibrium situations in which he treats transport theory and dilute gases at varying levels of sophistication. In the last chapter, he addresses some general questions involving irreversible processes and fluctuations. A large amount of material is presented to facilitate students later access to more advanced works, to allow those with higher levels of curiosity to read beyond the minimum given on a topic, and to enhance understanding by presenting several ways of looking at a particular question. Formatting within the text either signals material that instructors can assign at their own discretion or highlights important results for easy reference to them. Additionally, by solving many of the 230 problems contained in the text, students activate and embed their knowledge of the subject matter.
This book is based on many years of teaching statistical and thermal physics. It assumes no previous knowledge of thermodynamics, kinetic theory, or probability---the only prerequisites are an elementary knowledge of classical and modern physics, and of multivariable calculus. The first half of the book introduces the subject inductively but rigorously, proceeding from the concrete and specific to the abstract and general. In clear physical language the book explains the key concepts, such as temperature, heat, entropy, free energy, chemical potential, and distributions, both classical and quantum. The second half of the book applies these concepts to a wide variety of phenomena, including perfect gases, heat engines, and transport processes. Each chapter contains fully worked examples and real-world problems drawn from physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry, electronics, and mechanical engineering.
This textbook carefully develops the main ideas and techniques of statistical and thermal physics and is intended for upper-level undergraduate courses. The authors each have more than thirty years' experience in teaching, curriculum development, and research in statistical and computational physics. Statistical and Thermal Physics begins with a qualitative discussion of the relation between the macroscopic and microscopic worlds and incorporates computer simulations throughout the book to provide concrete examples of important conceptual ideas. Unlike many contemporary texts on thermal physics, this book presents thermodynamic reasoning as an independent way of thinking about macroscopic systems. Probability concepts and techniques are introduced, including topics that are useful for understanding how probability and statistics are used. Magnetism and the Ising model are considered in greater depth than in most undergraduate texts, and ideal quantum gases are treated within a uniform framework. Advanced chapters on fluids and critical phenomena are appropriate for motivated undergraduates and beginning graduate students. Integrates Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations as well as other numerical techniques throughout the text Provides self-contained introductions to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics Discusses probability concepts and methods in detail Contains ideas and methods from contemporary research Includes advanced chapters that provide a natural bridge to graduate study Features more than 400 problems Programs are open source and available in an executable cross-platform format Solutions manual (available only to teachers)
The book aims to explain the basic ideas of thermal physics intuitively and in the simplest possible way. It is aimed at making the reader feel comfortable with the ideas of entropy and free energy. Thermal physics is prone to misunderstanding, confusion and is often being overlooked. However, a good foundation is necessary to prepare the reader for advanced level studies.

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