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Statistical Mechanics Made Simple cover

This second edition extends and improves on the first, already an acclaimed and original treatment of statistical concepts insofar as they impact theoretical physics and form the basis of modern thermodynamics. This book illustrates through myriad examples the principles and logic used in extending the simple laws of idealized Newtonian physics and quantum physics into the real world of noise and thermal fluctuations.

In response to the many helpful comments by users of the first edition, important features have been added in this second, new and revised edition. These additions allow a more coherent picture of thermal physics to emerge. Benefiting from the expertise of the new co-author, the present edition includes a detailed exposition — occupying two separate chapters — of the renormalization group and Monte-Carlo numerical techniques, and of their applications to the study of phase transitions. Additional figures have been included throughout, as have new problems. A new Appendix presents fully worked-out solutions to representative problems; these illustrate various methodologies that are peculiar to physics at finite temperatures, that is, to statistical physics.

This new edition incorporates important aspects of many-body theory and of phase transitions. It should better serve the contemporary student, while offering to the instructor a wider selection of topics from which to craft lectures on topics ranging from thermodynamics and random matrices to thermodynamic Green functions and critical exponents, from the propagation of sound in solids and fluids to the nature of quasiparticles in quantum liquids and in transfer matrices.

Sample Chapter(s)
Introduction: Theories of Thermodynamics, Kinetic Theory and Statistical Mechanics (135 KB)
Chapter 1: Elementary Concepts in Statistics and Probability (265 KB)
Chapter 2: The Ising Model and the Lattice Gas (345 KB)

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Contents:
  • Elementary Concepts in Statistics and Probability
  • The Ising Model and the Lattice Gas
  • Elements of Thermodynamics
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • The World of Bosons
  • All About Fermions: Theories of Metals, Superconductors, Semiconductors
  • Kinetic Theory
  • The Transfer Matrix
  • Monte Carlo and Other Computer Simulation Methods
  • Critical Phenomena and the Renormalization Group
  • Some Uses of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics

Readership: Upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, academics and researchers in statistical physics.

Free Access
FRONT MATTER
  • Pages:i–xxi

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_fmatter

No Access
Elementary Concepts in Statistics and Probability
  • Pages:1–18

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_0001

No Access
The Ising Model and the Lattice Gas
  • Pages:19–35

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_0002

No Access
Elements of Thermodynamics
  • Pages:36–59

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_0003

No Access
Statistical Mechanics
  • Pages:60–93

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_0004

No Access
The World of Bosons
  • Pages:94–130

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_0005

No Access
All About Fermions: Theories of Metals, Superconductors, Semiconductors
  • Pages:131–159

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_0006

No Access
Kinetic Theory
  • Pages:160–194

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_0007

No Access
The Transfer Matrix
  • Pages:195–231

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_0008

No Access
Monte Carlo and Other Computer Simulation Methods
  • Pages:232–253

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_0009

No Access
Critical Phenomena and the Renormalization Group
  • Pages:254–278

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_0010

No Access
Some Uses of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics
  • Pages:279–304

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_0011

Free Access
BACK MATTER
  • Pages:305–335

https://doi.org/10.1142/9789812779106_bmatter

“The style is unassuming and to-the-point; the presentation is ‘simple’ from the mathematical standpoint, but rich in concepts and insights … This book is a rather original contribution to the statistical mechanical literature. With its definite anti-treatise spirit and its style closer to a friendly conversation than to an academic discourse, it is an excellent tool to kindle the interest of good students and to transmit a sense of scientific adventure that does justice to the field.”
Mathematical Reviews