An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics by Robert H. Swendsen

By Robert H. Swendsen

This article offers the 2 complementary elements of thermal physics as an built-in conception of the homes of subject. Conceptual knowing is promoted by way of thorough improvement of simple options. not like many texts, statistical mechanics, together with dialogue of the mandatory likelihood idea, is gifted first. this offers a statistical beginning for the concept that of entropy, that's significant to thermal physics. a special function of the ebook is the advance of entropy in keeping with Boltzmann's 1877 definition; this avoids contradictions or advert hoc corrections present in different texts. precise basics offer a average grounding for complicated themes, equivalent to black-body radiation and quantum gases. an intensive set of difficulties (solutions can be found for teachers during the OUP website), many together with specific computations, develop the center content material by means of probing crucial suggestions. The textual content is designed for a two-semester undergraduate path yet might be tailored for one-semester classes emphasizing both point of thermal physics. it's also appropriate for graduate study.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics

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If it is true for a value N , then using integration by parts we can then prove that it is true for N + 1. ∞ (N + 1)! 65) 0 = −e−x xN +1 ∞ 0 ∞ − −e−x (N + 1)xN dx 0 = (N + 1)N ! The integral in eq. 64) can be approximated by noting that the integrand is sharply peaked for large values of N . 66) where A, xo , and σ are constants that must be evaluated. We can find the location of the maximum of the integrand in eq. 64) by setting the first derivative of its logarithm equal to zero. 67) or x = xo .

1. 5 2. 85 3. 11 The Poisson distribution We have derived the binomial distribution for the probability of finding n particles in a subvolume out of a total of N particles in the full system. We assumed that the probabilities for each particle were independent and equal to p = VA /V . Problems 39 When you have a very large number N of particles with a very small probability p, you can simplify this expression in the limit that p → 0 and N → ∞, with the product fixed at pN = μ. The answer is the Poisson distribution.

The mathematical treatment of probability theory has been separated from the physical application for several reasons: (1) it provides an easy reference for the mathematics, (2) it makes the derivation of the entropy more compact, and (3) it is unobtrusive for those readers who are already completely familiar with probability theory. If the reader is already familiar with probability theory, Chapters 3 and 5 might be skipped. However, since the methods for the transformation of random variables presented there differ from those usually found in mathematics textbooks, these chapters might still be of some interest.

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