Concepts in Thermal Physics: Edition 2

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An understanding of thermal physics is crucial to much of modern physics, chemistry and engineering. This book provides a modern introduction to the main principles that are foundational to thermal physics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. The key concepts are carefully presented in a clear way, and new ideas are illustrated with copious worked examples as well as a description of the historical background to their discovery. Applications are presented to subjects as diverse as stellar astrophysics, information and communication theory, condensed matter physics and climate change. Each chapter concludes with detailed exercises. The second edition of this popular textbook maintains the structure and lively style of the first edition but extends its coverage of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics to include several new topics, including osmosis, diffusion problems, Bayes theorem, radiative transfer, the Ising model and Monte Carlo methods. New examples and exercises have been added throughout.
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About the author

Stephen Blundell did his undergraduate degree in Physics and Theoretical Physics at Peterhouse, Cambridge and his Ph. D. in the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. He moved to the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford to take up an SERC research fellowship, followed by a Junior Research Fellowship at Merton College, where he began research in organic magnets and superconductors using muon-spin rotation. In 1997 he was appointed to a University Lectureship in the Physics Department and a Tutorial Fellowship at Mansfield College, Oxford, and was subsequently promoted to Reader and then Professor. He was a joint winner of the Daiwa-Adrian Prize in 1999 for his work on organic magnets. Katherine Blundell did her undergraduate degree in Physics and Theoretical Physics at New Hall College, Cambridge and her Ph. D. in the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. She moved to Oxford University Astrophysics department, holding a Junior Research Fellowship at Balliol College, an 1851 Research Fellowship, before taking up a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Her research concentrates on radio galaxies and quasars. In 2005 she won a Leverhulme prize for her research, and became a Professor of Astrophysics in 2008.
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Oct 2, 2009
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Pages
512
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ISBN
9780191574337
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Astronomy
Science / Chemistry / General
Science / Mechanics / Thermodynamics
Science / Physics / General
Technology & Engineering / Mechanical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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All macroscopic systems consist ultimately of atoms obeying the laws of quantum mechanics. That premise forms the basis for this comprehensive text, intended for a first upper-level course in statistical and thermal physics. Reif emphasizes that the combination of microscopic concepts with some statistical postulates leads readily to conclusions on a purely macroscopic level. The authors writing style and penchant for description energize interest in condensed matter physics as well as provide a conceptual grounding with information that is crystal clear and memorable.

Reif first introduces basic probability concepts and statistical methods used throughout all of physics. Statistical ideas are then applied to systems of particles in equilibrium to enhance an understanding of the basic notions of statistical mechanics, from which derive the purely macroscopic general statements of thermodynamics. Next, he turns to the more complicated equilibrium situations, such as phase transformations and quantum gases, before discussing nonequilibrium situations in which he treats transport theory and dilute gases at varying levels of sophistication. In the last chapter, he addresses some general questions involving irreversible processes and fluctuations.

A large amount of material is presented to facilitate students later access to more advanced works, to allow those with higher levels of curiosity to read beyond the minimum given on a topic, and to enhance understanding by presenting several ways of looking at a particular question. Formatting within the text either signals material that instructors can assign at their own discretion or highlights important results for easy reference to them. Additionally, by solving many of the 230 problems contained in the text, students activate and embed their knowledge of the subject matter.
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