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Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell Hardcover – August 28, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"Unlike typical textbooks . . . [Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell] presents statistical mechanics as a more general theory with broader applications. . . . A graduate student or researcher who wants to explore the applications of statistical mechanics would be very well served by this book."--Choice

"Peliti's Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell is a fantastic reference for those who know the subject, teach it, or need a quick technical reminder, especially on the topic of phase transitions, which are consistently featured in modern-day discussions. . . . Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell provides the more general overview, with topics such as the renormalization group method. It includes a good mix of fundamental thermodynamics, phase behaviour, and other key subjects."--Physics Today

From the Back Cover

"This book provides a clear, no-nonsense approach to the basic ideas of the subject as well as an introduction to some of its modern applications. The main ideas are well illustrated by examples and exercises. There are important sections on numerical methods and dynamics, and a final chapter on complex systems gives the reader a foretaste of current research. The volume will serve as an excellent introductory graduate text for students in physics, chemistry, and biology."--John Cardy, University of Oxford

"Statistical mechanics has seen an extraordinary broadening of application in recent decades, from economics and the social sciences to computer science and biology. Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell combines in one accessible book the main classical ideas of statistical mechanics with many recent developments. It should have a wide readership among young (and also less young) scientists seeking a clear view of modern statistical physics."--Bernard Derrida, école Normale Supérieure

"This superb text provides a balanced and thorough treatment of statistical physics. From thermodynamics and basic principles to renormalization group, dynamics, and complex systems, the presentation is a model of clarity, and the level of detail is highly appropriate for graduate students or advanced undergraduates. Each chapter concludes with a helpful list of recommended further reading. I see this becoming a standard textbook for the next generation of PhD students."--Daniel Arovas, University of California, San Diego

"This is an excellent and comprehensive introduction to statistical mechanics in all of its aspects. The exposition is stimulating and concise but always clear, avoiding pedantic details. Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell has the potential to become a standard reference."--Giovanni Gallavotti, Sapienza University of Rome


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Product Details

  • Series: In a Nutshell
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; y First English language edition edition (August 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691145296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691145297
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By G. A. Schoenagel on May 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another fine text from the Princeton Series.
First, from a review in Journal of Statistical Physics (Ben-Avraham, 2012) :
"...remarkably self-contained and comprehensive introductory textbook..."
Next, my impressions:
The Thermodynamics is presented via a postulational (deductive)approach and this clearly enunciated.
Statistical Mechanical fundamentals are presented in the third chapter,lucidly expounding upon such standards
as phase space, observables, quantum states and the variational principle.
The later chapters (6-10),are beautiful expositions of more advanced material.
In particular,Chapter 9 (Dynamics), surveying Brownian Motion and Stochastics, is exceptional, proffering an interplay
between heuristic and analytical formalism.
The author gives nod to Boltzmann's conception of "..Entropy as an expression of the volume of the accessible phase space."
Chapter Five (Phase Transitions) is a delight; herein expressions derived for duality of Ising Model in two dimensions (Page 142),
Mean Fields supported via variational approach (Page 148) , and Einstein's theory of fluctuations (Page 157) aptly described.
And, scattered throughout we find in-line exercises, recommended readings (especially important in order to supplement the brevity ),
culminating in a lengthy bibliography.
The exposition is lucid and derivations straightforward, if not easy to comprehend.
Author's stated goal: "..to be both a beginner's and advanced course."
The author structures the text according to those aims, the first five chapters tailored for the beginner,
the remainder of the text, then, being more advanced.
An up to date,comprehensive, textbook well worth serious study.
Highly recommended, and an enjoyable text to peruse.
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Format: Hardcover
The text is good, until the author gets to the equations, at which point he totally loses the reader (me, at least). The author frequently skips steps in the equation derivations and expects the reader to follow while performing multi variate chain rule differentiation in his head. I have read many textbooks in mechanics and research in comp. chem and bio and the author still manages to lose me every two pages or so. Maybe this is good for geniuses, but for regulars maybe a more standard textbook like Atkins or Dill is better
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An up to date and well written modern introduction to statistical mechanics. Suitable for advanced undergraduates or graduate students in the physical sciences or engineering. Easy to use for self-study or review.
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