Concepts in Thermal Physics

Concepts in Thermal Physics


By (author) Stephen J. Blundell, By (author) Katherine M. Blundell

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 512 pages
  • Dimensions: 185mm x 244mm x 25mm | 1,111g
  • Publication date: 30 November 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199562105
  • ISBN 13: 9780199562107
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: 250 b/w line illustrations, 35 b/w halftones
  • Sales rank: 126,099

Product description

An understanding of thermal physics is crucial to much of modern physics, chemistry and engineering. This book provides a modern introduction to the main principles that are foundational to thermal physics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. The key concepts are carefully presented in a clear way, and new ideas are illustrated with copious worked examples as well as a description of the historical background to their discovery. Applications are presented to subjects as diverse as stellar astrophysics, information and communication theory, condensed matter physics and climate change. Each chapter concludes with detailed exercises. The second edition of this popular textbook maintains the structure and lively style of the first edition but extends its coverage of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics to include several new topics, including osmosis, diffusion problems, Bayes theorem, radiative transfer, the Ising model and Monte Carlo methods. New examples and exercises have been added throughout.

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Author information

Katherine Blundell did her undergraduate degree in Physics and Theoretical Physics at New Hall College, Cambridge and her Ph. D. in the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. She moved to Oxford University Astrophysics department, holding a Junior Research Fellowship at Balliol College, an 1851 Research Fellowship, before taking up a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Her research concentrates on radio galaxies and quasars. In 2005 she won a Leverhulme prize for her research, and became a Professor of Astrophysics in 2008.

Review quote

This is probably the best book I know of thermodynamics and statistical physics. The authors have done really a great job. [...] The contents of the book are organised in such way that it can be used for a standard undergraduate level course in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, where it is also possible to make the appropriate selection of the topics depending on the level and duration of the course. It could also be very useful as a source reference for lecturers in thermodynamics and statistical physics. M.A.F. Sanjuan, Contemporary Physics

Table of contents

I: PRELIMINARIES ; 1. Introduction ; 2. Heat ; 3. Probability ; 4. Temperature and the Boltzmann factor ; II: KINETIC THEORY OF GASES ; 5. The Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution ; 6. Pressure ; 7. Molecular effusion ; 8. The mean free path and collisions ; III: TRANSPORT AND THERMAL DIFFUSION ; 9. Transport properties in gases ; 10. The thermal diffusion equation ; IV: THE FIRST LAW ; 11. Energy ; 12. Isothermal and adiobatic processes ; V: THE SECOND LAW ; 13. Heat engines and the second law ; 14. Entropy ; 15. Information theory ; VI: THERMODYNAMICS IN ACTION ; 16. Thermodynamic potentials ; 17. Rods, bubbles and magnets ; 18. The third law ; VII: STATISTICAL MECHANICS ; 19. Equipartition of energy ; 20. The partition function ; 21. Statistical mechanics of an ideal gas ; 22. The chemical potential ; 23. Photons ; 24. Phonons ; VIII: BEYOND THE IDEAL GAS ; 25. Relativistic gases ; 26. Real gases ; 27. Cooling real gases ; 28. Phase transitions ; 29. Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac distributions ; 30. Quantum gases and condensates ; IX: SPECIAL TOPICS ; 31. Sound waves ; 32. Shock waves ; 33. Brownian motion and fluctuations ; 34. Non-equilibrium thermodynamics ; 35. Stars ; 36. Compact objects ; 37. Earth's atmosphere