Concepts in Thermal Physics

Front Cover
An understanding of thermal physics is crucial to much of modern physics, chemistry and engineering. This book provides a modern introduction to the main principles that are foundational to thermal physics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. The key concepts are carefully presented in a clear way, and new ideas are illustrated with copious worked examples as well as a description of the historical background to their discovery. Applications are presented to subjects as diverse as stellar astrophysics, information and communication theory, condensed matter physics and climate change. Each chapter concludes with detailed exercises. The second edition of this popular textbook maintains the structure and lively style of the first edition but extends its coverage of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics to include several new topics, including osmosis, diffusion problems, Bayes theorem, radiative transfer, the Ising model and Monte Carlo methods. New examples and exercises have been added throughout.
 

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Contents

Part I Preliminaries
1
Part II Kinetic theory of gases
47
Part III Transport and thermal diffusion
75
Part IV The first law
107
Part V The second law
125
Part VI Thermodynamics in action
171
Part VII Statistical mechanics
209
Part VIII Beyond the ideal gas
289
B Useful formulae
462
C Useful mathematics
464
D The electromagnetic spectrum
479
E Some thermodynamical definitions
480
F Thermodynamic expansion formulae
481
G Reduced mass
482
H Glossary of main symbols
483
Bibliography
485

IX Special topics
375
A Fundamental constants
461

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About the author (2010)


Stephen Blundell did his undergraduate degree in Physics and Theoretical Physics at Peterhouse, Cambridge and his Ph. D. in the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. He moved to the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford to take up an SERC research fellowship, followed by a Junior Research Fellowship at Merton College, where he began research in organic magnets and superconductors using muon-spin rotation. In 1997 he was appointed to a University Lectureship in the Physics Department and a Tutorial Fellowship at Mansfield College, Oxford, and was subsequently promoted to Reader and then Professor. He was a joint winner of the Daiwa-Adrian Prize in 1999 for his work on organic magnets.

Katherine Blundell did her undergraduate degree in Physics and Theoretical Physics at New Hall College, Cambridge and her Ph. D. in the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. She moved to Oxford University Astrophysics department, holding a Junior Research Fellowship at Balliol College, an 1851 Research Fellowship, before taking up a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Her research concentrates on radio galaxies and quasars. In 2005 she won a Leverhulme prize for her research, and became a Professor of Astrophysics in 2008.

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