Statistical Physics of Particles

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 7, 2007 - Science
2 Reviews
Statistical physics has its origins in attempts to describe the thermal properties of matter in terms of its constituent particles, and has played a fundamental role in the development of quantum mechanics. Based on lectures taught by Professor Kardar at MIT, this textbook introduces the central concepts and tools of statistical physics. It contains a chapter on probability and related issues such as the central limit theorem and information theory, and covers interacting particles, with an extensive description of the van der Waals equation and its derivation by mean field approximation. It also contains an integrated set of problems, with solutions to selected problems at the end of the book and a complete set of solutions is available to lecturers on a password protected website at A companion volume, Statistical Physics of Fields, discusses non-mean field aspects of scaling and critical phenomena, through the perspective of renormalization group.

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Excellent grad level book. The book covers quantum statistical mechanics: ideal bose and fermi gas extensively.

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Concise, elegant formulation all over. I used it (to study mainly quantum statistical mechanics portion. David Tong's note accompanied it.) as an undergraduate student. It is too brief in positions like Bose-Einstein condensation. Starting of canonical formulation part is inelegant I would say (c.f.- Feynman (ISBN 081334610X, 9780813346106), Greiner (ISBN 3540942998, 9783540942993)).  


Preface page ix
Problems 202
Chapter 2
Chapter 4
Chapter 6
Chapter 7

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Page 9 - No process is possible whose sole result is the transfer of heat from a cooler to a hotter body.
Page 5 - SW) depends only on the initial and final states and not on the path followed between the two states.
Page 8 - ... the internal energy of an ideal gas depends only on its temperature and is irrespective of volume and pressure.
Page 6 - ... is equal in magnitude but opposite in sign to the work done by the system on the surroundings.

About the author (2007)

Mehran Kardar is Professor of Physics at MIT, where he has taught and researched in the field of Statistical Physics for the past twenty years. He received his BA in Cambridge, and gained his PhD at MIT. Professor Kardar has held research and visiting positions as a junior fellow at Harvard, a Guggenheim fellow at Oxford, UCSB, and at Berkeley as a Miller Fellow.

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