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Statistical Mechanics Hardcover – May 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-1891389153 ISBN-10: 1891389157 Edition: 1st

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Statistical Mechanics + An Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics (Dover Books on Physics) + Thermodynamics and an Introduction to Thermostatistics
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 641 pages
  • Publisher: University Science Books; 1st edition (May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891389157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891389153
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 7.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DONALD A. McQUARRIE, University of California, Davis

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Customer Reviews

I really would not recommend McQuarrie.
Justin Bois
It is fairly well organized, but there are many assumed steps from one equation to the next, which make the text difficult to follow.
MillerMan107348
To those of us trying to learn this subject, however, this text is horribly opaque.
Joe Mattson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Justin Bois on July 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
McQuarrie's book is typically the standard text in many undergraduate and graduate programs, but I believe there are many other resources to learn statistical mechanics in a much clearer way.
I find the following things to be particularly annoying about the book:
1) The typesetting! The pages are very difficult to read, especially equations. It's a very old typeface and my eyes literally hurt after reading McQuarrie for too long.
2) Very few problems are worked out. Many important concepts that should involve more detailed discussion are simply left as exercises to the student. I believe that more peripheral results and extensions of fundamental material are better left as problems, as opposed to fundamental results.
3) The glaring absense of good discussion on spin systems (such as Ising magnets) and critical phenomena. These are VERY important topics in modern statistical mechanics.
I would recommend the following if you want to find good books on statistical mechanics:
1) If you want one comprehensive volume, use Linda Reichl's book.
2) If you are only interested in statistical thermodynamics, use David Chandler's book.
3) If you want both statistical thermodynamics and nonequatilibrium statistical mechanics, use Chandler and Robert Zwanzig's book.
Also, Kubo's statistical thermodynamics book is really good.
I really would not recommend McQuarrie. Save your eyes and get a more modern book with at least a better typesetting.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jason Dejoannis on March 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have found this book to be an excellent resource during my PhD and postdoctoral studies in molecular simulations. It is concise, rigorous and spans the classic problems in statistical mechanics more thoroughly than any other text. The development of the central axioms and theorems and connection with macroscopic thermodynamics is quite enlightening.
I have studied the sections on: foundations, perfect gases, imperfect gases, crystals and liquids. The book also covers kinetic theory, reactions and more.
The book is necessarily concise and therefore is a bit difficult as a first course. However a diligent graduade student could conceivably "slog" through it and would later come to appreciate the rewards. For a cheaper alternative, turn to the other classic of this field by T. L. Hill.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Potter on April 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a engineering/physics student, and I used this book for a first year graduate course in statistical mechanics. The book contains a lot of information, and the chapters are extremely concise. In this, lies both the strengths and weaknesses of the book. I think that the short, too the point writing style makes this book an excellent reference. However, the relatively small amount of exposition made it hard to learn material for the first time from the book. Overall, I would not suggest this book as a first introduction to the subject. But i think that it could be a usefull reference for someone with some background in the subject.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Richard Axor on August 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the book to go for those working on molecular simulations and looking for the math background and derivations leading equations of interest. Due the fast moving on several subjects the reader should have at hand other texts like Tolman and Hill to review in depth some parts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Clay on November 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
McQuarrie, is a good resource for statistical mechanics, more so for those with a solid mathematical background so that you can fill in the gaps in the derivations and proofs. It is relativily easy to understand and covers the majority to topics well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patrick M. McLaurin on April 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Good book, covers a lot of material. However, there seem to be some mistakes pointed out by my professor. Things like - McQ doesn't seem to know the difference between quantum probability (Born interpretation) and statistical probability when it comes to quantum stat mech. Don't take my word for it though. It covers what you need to know.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on March 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good book, but it's not a graduate text for the first half. If you're just reading it and not taking the class, buy Hill instead (it's $10). McQuarrie learned how to teach SM from Hill and it shows. The second half is a whole different story. It's research level material, but is perhaps out of date. Lastly, Karl Freed and Stuart Rice teach from this book, which should be worth far more than my review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charlie on October 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The best book on statistical mechanics. The last two chapters are basics of nonequilibrium stat mech. Very useful, even for the current physical chemical / chemical physical researchers.
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