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This textbook brings together the fundamentals of the macroscopic and microscopic aspects of thermal physics by presenting thermodynamics and statistical mechanics as complementary theories based on small numbers of postulates. The book is designed to give the instructor flexibility in structuring courses for advanced undergraduates and/or beginning graduate students and is written on the principle that a good text should also be a good reference.
The presentation of thermodynamics follows the logic of Clausius and Kelvin while relating the concepts involved to familiar phenomena and the modern student's knowledge of the atomic nature of matter. Another unique aspect of the book is the treatment of the mathematics involved. The essential mathematical concepts are briefly reviewed before using them, and the similarity of the mathematics to that employed in other fields of physics is emphasized.
The text gives in depth treatments of low density gases, harmonic solids, magnetic and dielectric materials, phase transitions, and the concept of entropy. The microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical ensembles of statistical mechanics are derived and used as the starting point for the analysis of fluctuations, blackbody radiation, the Maxwell distribution, Fermi-Dirac statistics, Bose-Einstein condensation, and the statistical basis of computer simulations.
Supplementary material including PowerPoint slides and detailed worked solutions can be downloaded online at http://booksupport.wiley.com
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Robert J. Hardy and Christian Binek
Department of Physics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA
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