This text presents the two complementary aspects of thermal physics as an integrated theory of the properties of matter. Conceptual understanding is promoted by thorough development of basic concepts. In contrast to many texts, statistical mechanics, including discussion of the required probability theory, is presented first. This provides a statistical foundation for the concept of entropy, which is central to thermal physics. A unique feature of the book is thedevelopment of entropy based on Boltzmann's 1877 definition; this avoids contradictions or ad hoc corrections found in other texts. Detailed fundamentals provide a natural grounding for advanced topics, such as black-body radiation and quantum gases. An extensive set of problems (solutions areavailable for lecturers through the OUP website), many including explicit computations, advance the core content by probing essential concepts. The text is designed for a two-semester undergraduate course but can be adapted for one-semester courses emphasizing either aspect of thermal physics. It is also suitable for graduate study.
OUP Oxford; March 2012
- ISBN: 9780191626982
- Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
- Title: An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics
Series: Oxford Graduate Texts
- Author: Robert H. Swendsen
Imprint: OUP Oxford
In The Press
In this reader-friendly, excellent text, the author provides a unique combination of the best of two worlds: traditional thermodynamics (following Callen's footsteps) and modern statistical mechanics (including VPython codes for simulations).
About The Author
Robert H. Swendsen is Professor of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University, where he works primarily in computational statistical mechanics. Professor Swendsen is a Fellow of both the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was given an IBM Outstanding Achievement Award in 1981 and shared a Forefronts of Large-Scale Computational Problems Award with S. Kumar, J.M. Rosenberg, and P.A. Kollman in1991.