Statistical Physics and Thermodynamics: An Introduction to Key Concepts

Statistical Physics and Thermodynamics: An Introduction to Key Concepts

by Jochen Rau

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Overview

Statistical Physics and Thermodynamics: An Introduction to Key Concepts by Jochen Rau

Statistical physics and thermodynamics describe the behaviour of systems on the macroscopic scale. Their methods are applicable to a wide range of phenomena: from refrigerators to the interior of stars, from chemical reactions to magnetism. Indeed, of all physical laws, the laws of thermodynamics are perhaps the most universal. This text provides a concise yet thorough introduction to the key concepts which underlie statistical physics and thermodynamics.

It begins with a review of classical probability theory and quantum theory, as well as a careful discussion of the notions of information and entropy, prior to embarking on the development of statistical physics proper. The crucial steps leading from the microscopic to the macroscopic domain are rendered transparent. In particular, the laws of thermodynamics are shown to emerge as natural consequences of the statistical framework. While the emphasis is on clarifying the basic concepts, the text also contains many applications and classroom-tested exercises, covering all major topics of a standard course on statistical physics and thermodynamics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199595068
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 12/15/2017
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 9.80(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Jochen Rau, Professor of Mathematics, RheinMain University of Applied Sciences

Jochen Rau received degrees in physics and mathematics from Goethe University Frankfurt, University of Cambridge, and Duke University. He has taught theoretical physics at Goethe University Frankfurt and Ulm University, Germany, and is currently Professor of Mathematics at RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, Germany.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1.1. The Challenge of Statistical Mechanics
1.2. Classical Probability
2. Quantum Theory
2.1. Review of Basic Concepts
2.2. Mixed States
2.3. Composite Systems
3. Constructing the State
3.1. Information and Entropy
3.2. Maximum Entropy Principle
3.3. Thermodynamic Square
3.4. Reproducible Processes and the Second Law
3.5. Equilibrium and Temperature
3.6. Fluctuations
4. Simple Systems
4.1. Harmonic Oscillator
4.2. Rotor
4.3. Spin in a Magnetic Field
4.4. Paramagnet
5. Thermodynamic Limit
5.1. Homogeneity
5.2. Stability
5.3. Equivalence of Ensembles
5.4. Four Laws
6. Perfect Gas
6.1. Generic Properties
6.2. Continuum and Classical Limits
6.3. Fermi Gas
6.4. Bose—Einstein Condensation
6.5. Photons
6.6. Internal Dynamics
6.7. Dilute Solution
7. Processes and Responses
7.1. Work and Heat
7.2. Cycles, Barriers, and Reservoirs
7.3. Potentials
7.4. Equilibrium and Stability in the Presence of a Reservoir
7.5. Coefficients
8. Phase Transitions
8.1. Coexistence of Phases
8.2. First-Order Phase Transition
8.3. Second-Order Phase Transition: Ising Model

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