1st Edition

Statistical Mechanics
An Elementary Outline

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ISBN 9780415802611
Published August 18, 2009 by CRC Press
290 Pages

USD $99.95

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Book Description

Compared to the previous edition where the quantum theoretic development of the subject was chosen from the very beginning, this revised edition presents the classical theory as the launching pad by introducing a number of key concepts so as to make the subject accessible to a wider group of readers. In addition, the technical soundness of presentation has been raised to a higher level by using the concepts of the mixed state and the reduced state as the basic building blocks of the theory as well as relating equilibrium statistical mechanics to the long-term time evolution of the reduced state. The author avoids technically rigorous, formal analysis in favor of a clear understanding at a semi-intuitive level.

Table of Contents

Preface to the First Revised Edition

Preface to the First Edition


Getting Launched from Classical Mechanics: A Preview of Statistical Mechanics

Quantum Mechanics: Elementary Notions

Quantum Mechanics: Illustrations

Statistical Mechanics: The First Fundamental Postulate

The Entropy Postulate

The Programme of Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics

Appendix: More on the Fundamental Postulates


Stirling’s Approximation

System of Non-Interacting Spins

Einstein’s Theory of Crystalline Specific Heat

Systems of Identical Particles

State Counting for Bosons and Fermions

The Ideal Gas

The Classical Ideal Gas: Semiclassical State Counting


Introducing the Canonical Ensemble

Probability Distribution in the Canonical Ensemble

Thermodynamic Quantities in the Canonical Ensemble

Energy Dispersion in the Canonical Ensemble

Statistical Mechanics of Large System: Recapitulation

The Grand Canonical Ensemble: Introduction

Probability Distribution in the Grand Canonical Ensemble

Thermodynamic Functions in the Grand Canonical Ensemble

Entropy as "Disorder"

Evolution Toward Maximal Disorder



A Single Harmonic Oscillator at Temperature T

A System of Distinct Non-Interacting Constituents at Temperatures T

Semiclassical Statistical Mechanics in the Canonical Ensemble and Applications

The Vibrating Lattice: Specific Heat at Low Temperatures

Black Body Radiation: Plank’s Formula

Paramagnetic Susceptibility

Ideal Fermi and Bose Gases in the Grand Canonical Ensemble

Quantum Virial Expansion for the Ideal Gas

The "Electron Gas" in a Conductor

Bose Condensation

Ferromagnetic Behavior and the Using Model

Gas with Weakly Interacting Molecules: Deviation from Ideality



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Avijit, Lahiri


… He [the author] has obviously thought deeply about how best to teach this subject. … Students will appreciate the full and carefully elaborated solutions presented to many of the posed problems. … The written text is lucid and informal. … I would recommend it as a supplementary text … .
Contemporary Physics, Volume 52, Issue 3, 2011

… a different and insightful explanation of the main elementary material of statistical mechanics. … I would recommend this book to those who wish to pursue a deeper understanding of statistical mechanics. This makes it best suited for postgraduate courses and beyond. … For a course at any level, there is plenty of useful material and the book’s less commonly encountered perspectives justify its consideration.
—Richard Henchman, Reviews, Volume 11, 2010