Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell

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Princeton University Press, Aug 8, 2011 - Science - 416 pages

A concise introduction to statistical mechanics

Statistical mechanics is one of the most exciting areas of physics today, and it also has applications to subjects as diverse as economics, social behavior, algorithmic theory, and evolutionary biology. Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell offers the most concise, self-contained introduction to this rapidly developing field. Requiring only a background in elementary calculus and elementary mechanics, this book starts with the basics, introduces the most important developments in classical statistical mechanics over the last thirty years, and guides readers to the very threshold of today's cutting-edge research.

Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell zeroes in on the most relevant and promising advances in the field, including the theory of phase transitions, generalized Brownian motion and stochastic dynamics, the methods underlying Monte Carlo simulations, complex systems—and much, much more. The essential resource on the subject, this book is the most up-to-date and accessible introduction available for graduate students and advanced undergraduates seeking a succinct primer on the core ideas of statistical mechanics.

  • Provides the most concise, self-contained introduction to statistical mechanics
  • Focuses on the most promising advances, not complicated calculations
  • Requires only elementary calculus and elementary mechanics
  • Guides readers from the basics to the threshold of modern research
  • Highlights the broad scope of applications of statistical mechanics


 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Thermodynamics
9
The Fundamental Postulate
55
InteractionFree Systems
89
Phase Transitions
125
Renormalization Group
173
Classical Fluids
215
Numerical Simulation
251
Dynamics
277
Complex Systems
311
Appendices
357
Bibliography
383
Index
389
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Luca Peliti is professor of statistical mechanics at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy. His books include Biologically Inspired Physics.

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