Lectures on Theoretical Physics

Lectures on theoretical physics

Book 5
Academic Press
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Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics deals with the method of thermodynamic potentials, the four Gibbsian potentials, and Boltzmann's statistics. The book reviews the general considerations of thermodynamics, such as the first and second laws of thermodynamics, the van der Waals equation, and Nernst's third law of thermodynamics. The text also discusses the application of thermodynamics to special systems, the theory of phase equilibria, the electromotive force of galvanic cells, and the thermodynamics of near-equilibrium processes. The book explains the equation of state of a perfect gas, the Maxwellian velocity distribution, and the statistical significance of the constants in van der Waal's equation. The text notes that the states of equilibrium can be treated in a simple manner compared to complex methods used in problems connected with irreversible processes. The book explains that the atoms in a molecule are capable of performing small vibrations about their position of equilibrium as they possess both kinetic and potential energy. The text also discusses the quantization of vibrational energy and rotational energy. The book can be helpful for students of physics, thermodynamics, and related subjects. It can also be used by instructors in advanced physics.
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Academic Press
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Published on
Dec 2, 2012
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Science / Mechanics / Thermodynamics
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Eligible for Family Library

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TheTheory of the Top attained its great fame from both its monum- tal scope and its outstanding authors. In the early twentieth century, Felix Klein was known as a mathematician of world fame; Arnold S- merfeld, Klein’s disciple, had acquired his reputation as a rising star of theoretical physics. By 1910, when the ?nal volume of this tr- tise was published, the names of Klein and Sommerfeld would signal to a student that a matter as complex as the top was presented in a most authoritative manner, from the perspective of both mathem- ics and physics. The work also stands out in other regards: by its sheer extent—four volumes comprising a total of almost a thousand pages—and by the time lag of about ?fteen years between inception and completion. Klein himself regarded the ?nal result as somewhat disjointed. Its “idiosyncratic disposition,” he re?ected in 1922, may be understood only by taking into account the historic circumstances at its inception in 1895; the developments between the ?rst and last parts derailed the project from its intended course, so that for the technical applications described in Volume IV “almost no use was made of the theoretical framework developed atthebeginning”[Klein 1922, p. 659]. Itseemsappropriate,therefore,torecallthehistoricalcircumstances under which this treatise was conceived and pursued. Felix Klein was not only a renowned mathematician, but also an entrepreneurial and ambitious university professor striving for a broader acknowledgment of mathematics as a cultural asset.
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