1st Edition

Statistical Mechanics From Thermodynamics to the Renormalization Group

By James H. Luscombe Copyright 2021
    400 Pages
    by CRC Press

    400 Pages
    by CRC Press

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    This textbook provides a comprehensive, yet accessible, introduction to statistical mechanics. Crafted and class-tested over many years of teaching, it carefully guides advanced undergraduate and graduate students who are encountering statistical mechanics for the first time through this – sometimes – intimidating subject. The book provides a strong foundation in thermodynamics and the ensemble formalism of statistical mechanics. An introductory chapter on probability theory is included. Applications include degenerate Fermi systems, Bose-Einstein condensation, cavity radiation, phase transitions, and critical phenomena. The book concludes with a treatment of scaling theories and the renormalization group.

    In addition, it provides clear descriptions of how to understand the foundational mathematics and physics involved and includes exciting case studies of modern applications of the subject in physics and wider interdisciplinary areas.

    Key Features:

    • Presents the subject in a clear and entertaining style which enables the author to take a sophisticated approach whilst remaining accessible
    • Contains contents that have been carefully reviewed with a substantial panel to ensure that coverage is appropriate for a wide range of courses, worldwide
    • Accompanied by volumes on thermodynamics and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, which can be used in conjunction with this book, on courses which cover both thermodynamics and statistical mechanics

    Part One. Structure of Statistics

    Chapter 1. Thermodynamics

    Chapter 2. From Mechanics to Statistical Mechanics

    Chapter 3. Probability Theory

    Chapter 4. Ensemble Theory

    Part Two. Applications of Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics

    Chapter 5. Ideal Systems

    Chapter 6. Interacting Systems

    Chapter 7. Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena

    Chapter 8. Scaling Theories and the Renormalization Group


    James H. Luscombe received the PhD in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1983. After post-doctoral positions at the University of Toronto and Iowa State University, he joined the Research Laboratory of Texas Instruments, where he worked on the development of nanoelectronic devices. In 1994, he joined the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, where he is Professor of Physics. He was Chair of the Department of Physics from 2003 – 2009. He teaches a wide variety of topics, including generalrelativity, statistical mechanics, mathematical methods, and quantum computation. He has published more than 60 research articles, and has given more than 100 conference presentations; he holds 2 patents.