Many students at undergraduate level struggle with the basic concepts of thermodynamics and statistical physics such as entropy, phase space, y-space, micro-canonical, canonical and grand canonical ensembles, statistical weight (thermodynamic ...
probability), accessible states, density of states, partition function. In this book the author has made every effort to explain these basic concepts and notions in the simplest possible way, keeping in mind the limitations and difficulties of an average student. The book begins with the kinetic theory of gases and transport phenomena and gives the students a thorough grounding in the fundamental aspects of the topics such as Maxwell's law of distribution of molecular speeds, mean free path, viscosity, thermal conduction and diffusion. Next, the topics on equation of state and critical constant are discussed. The chapters from 4 - 9 are devoted to the development of thermodynamic concepts and the application of the laws of thermodynamics to the thermodynamic processes. A sufficient number of solved examples enable the students to test their conceptual understanding and analytical skills. A comprehensive discussion of on the failure of classical theory of radiation and the emergence of quantum concepts viz. the particle nature of radiation is presented in the chapters on radiations. Part II of the book presents a lucid and systematic exposition of the fundamental principles of the most fascinating, exciting, stimulating and challenging subject - statistical physics. The understanding of statistical physics requires knowledge of quantum mechanics at introductory level and a little bit of mathematics of undergraduate level. Though this book provides a self-contained study material, the knowledge of more advanced mathematical tools will make the learning process of statistical physics easier.
Number of pages: 384
Date of publication: 25/03/2011
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