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An Introduction to Thermal Physics Hardcover – August 28, 1999

78 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0201380279 ISBN-10: 0201380277 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

  • Please be aware that the "New International Edition" (ISBN 978-1292026213) and perhaps some other international editions of this book are significantly abridged. In the cases I am aware of, these versions are missing Chapter 8, Appendices A and B, the Preface, Suggested Reading, and Index. Check the page count: The complete book should be 422 pages plus 10 pages of front matter (with Roman numerals); the abridged versions are typically advertised to be only 336 pages. I apologize to all readers who have unintentionally ended up with abridged versions. The abridgments were made without my knowledge and I have no control over their publication. In some parts of the world the price for an abridged version is actually more than the U.S. price for the complete hardcover version (ISBN 978-0201380279).
  • The complete Preface and Table of Contents, along with some supplementary material, can be found on the author's web site.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 1 edition (August 28, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201380277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201380279
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Dubson on September 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is best text on Statistical Mechanics and Thermo available at the advanced undergrad level. None of the other texts at this level can compete: Reif contains eveything but doesn't distinguish between important ideas and unimportant details. Kittel and Kroemer is too terse. Baierlein is too long-winded and idiosyncratic. Schroeder's text strikes just the right level: the big ideas are clearly explained and well-motivated. I like the order of presentation. The math is at the right level, the problems are excellent. There is even some humor. I have only two (minor) complaints: 1) the derivation of the entropy of an ideal gas involves some uncertainty-principle-hand-waving when a straight-forward counting of particle-in-a-box states would have done the job. 2) There is little or no discussion of transport properties: diffusion, thermal conductitivy, viscosity, and the like. If you don't like this book, then you won't like the others on this subject.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By MyView on June 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is one the best physics book I've seen. Like in all physics books, it is expected that you understand the preceding text before you gain ability to do a problem 'quickly'. But in this book understanding actually happens because, unlike most books, the whole book is written intuitively. The tone of the writing is nice also; you wiil NOT find the unnecessary 'of course' and 'obvious' sprinkled throughout, which were are a common occurrence in more annoying texts. The laws of thermodyanmics, especially the 2nd, are clearely illustrated in fair amounts 'theoretical' detail. For the more 'everyday' aspects chapter 4 and the thermodynmics parts of my freshman physics textbook were useful; in fact, its a good idea to read the thermo part of the freshman physics book while or before reading Ch. 1 of this book). The arguments and estimates made to motivate and justify various things throughout the book were, in my opinion, clear and reasonable. Problems are all do-able and a majority of them interesting once the text is understood (which takes some time and energy). Most of the problems have a number or an expression as an answer, it would've been nice to have the answers in the back. Who would it hurt? If a student is willing to spend his/her time and energy until he/she has the right answer they should be given the opportunity to have the 'pleasure of finding things out' (from a title of one of R.Feynman's book). I liked all chapters of the book, but I did feel that Ch.5 is a bit too long. It is an enjoyable and intuitive physics book.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. Schlenker on March 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Compared to other Thermo texts I have read, this one is probably the most approachable. Examples are plentiful and the train of thought is quite logical. However, due to the lack of answers to the problems, this book is not useful for self study. Perhaps the author and publisher will "see the light" in 2e.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Deutch on November 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While a good theoretical understanding can be obtained from this book, the lack of many worked problems in the book and the absence of any solutions in the back presents a real problem for any self-study. You must have a knowledgeable professor who can work out a lot of examples in class. Unfortunately I do not have a good professor, so I've had to pick up other texts to solve my difficulties. I'd avoid this book unless it's absolutely required for a class, and even then I would suggest taking very good notes in class to supplement the book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By LaZers Guy on May 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Having taken classes that have used both this and Kittel and Kroemer I can easily recommend this over the former. Though K&K is considerably more thorough and will give you a deeper understanding if you're a patient reader, Schroeder's book gives you a more better intuitive feel for the topic. You may sacrifice some mathematical rigor with Schroeder, but the increased comfort with the subject will allow you to feel comfortable discussing the topic and give you the confidence to continue further study. I also feel the more qualitative approach to such a "magical" field as statistical mechanics is better for the student's understanding, rather than getting bogged down for several chapters on counting and general probability.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Allen on January 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Schroeder sets the mark for readability with this undergraduate physics text. This was my favorite among all my undergraduate texts; by far the easiest to understand and most enjoyable to read. His explanations are clever and witty. I enjoyed his lucid introduction to combinatorics in statistical mechanics. Schroeder gets an A+ in defining abstract ideas such as enthalpy, partition functions, and intensive vs. extensive quantities. On the flip side, the organization is loose, and there aren't enough worked out examples in the latter chapters. I highly recommend this book to professors who want students to actually read and learn from the text.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John Romkes on January 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'm in my third year of physics, and so far this was probably the book I enjoyed the most. The writing is very good and at times humorous, the build-up of the book is okay, and the explanations are easy to understand and most of the time pretty detailed. Also, the writer does a good job of 'getting inside the student's head'. Plenty of examples, a joy from start to finish. The only disadvantage is that the problems do not have any answers in the back of the book. For the rest, I enjoyed every second of it.
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