Thermal Physics

Thermal Physics : Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers

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In Thermal Physics: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers, the fundamental laws of thermodynamics are stated precisely as postulates and subsequently connected to historical context and developed mathematically. These laws are applied systematically to topics such as phase equilibria, chemical reactions, external forces, fluid-fluid surfaces and interfaces, and anisotropic crystal-fluid interfaces.

Statistical mechanics is presented in the context of information theory to quantify entropy, followed by development of the most important ensembles: microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical. A unified treatment of ideal classical, Fermi, and Bose gases is presented, including Bose condensation, degenerate Fermi gases, and classical gases with internal structure. Additional topics include paramagnetism, adsorption on dilute sites, point defects in crystals, thermal aspects of intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors, density matrix formalism, the Ising model, and an introduction to Monte Carlo simulation.

Throughout the book, problems are posed and solved to illustrate specific results and problem-solving techniques.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 610 pages
  • 191 x 235 x 49mm | 505g
  • United States
  • English
  • colour illustrations
  • 0128033045
  • 9780128033043

Table of contents

Part I: Thermodynamics
1. Introduction
2. First Law of Thermodynamics
3. Second Law of Thermodynamics
4. Third Law of Thermodynamics
5. Open Systems
6. Equilibrium and Thermodynamic Potentials
7. Requirements for Stability
8. Monocomponent Phase Equilibrium
9. Two-Phase Equilibrium for a van der Waals Fluid
10. Binary Solutions
11. External Forces and Rotating Coordinate Systems
12. Chemical Reactions
13. Thermodynamics of Fluid-Fluid Interfaces
14. Thermodynamics of Solid-Fluid Interfaces
Part II: Statistical Mechanics
15. Entropy and Information Theory
16. Microcanonical Ensemble
17. Classical Microcanonical Ensemble
18. Distinguishable Particles with Negligible Interaction Energies
19. Canonical Ensemble
20. Classical Canonical Ensemble
21. Grand Canonical Ensemble
22. Entropy for Any Ensemble
23. Unified Treatment of Ideal Fermi, Bose and Classical Gases
24. Bose Condensation
25. Degenerate Fermi Gas
26. Quantum Statistics
27. Ising Model
Part III: Appendices
A. Stirling's Approximation
B. Use of Jacobians to Convert Partial Derivatives
C. Differential Geometry of Surfaces
D. Equilibrium of Two-State Systems
E. Aspects of Canonical Transformations
F. Rotation of Rigid Bodies
G. Thermodynamic Perturbation Theory
H. Selected Mathematical Relations
I. Creation and Annihilation Operators
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About Robert Floyd Sekerka

Robert Floyd Sekerka is University Professor Emeritus, Physics and Mathematics, Carnegie Mellon University. He received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude in physics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1960 and his AM (1961) and PhD (1965) degrees from Harvard University where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He worked as a senior engineer at Westinghouse Research Laboratories until 1969 when he joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon in the Materials Science and Engineering Department; he was promoted to Professor in 1972 and was Department Head from 1976-82. He served as Dean of the Mellon College of Science from 1982 through 1991. Subsequently he was named University Professor of Physics and Mathematics with a courtesy appointment in Materials Science and Engineering. He retired in 2011 but continues to do scientific research and writing. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Metals, the American Physical Society, and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, and he has been a consultant to NIST for over forty years. Honors include the Phillip M. McKenna Award, the Frank Prize of the International Organization for Crystal Growth (President for six years) and the Bruce Chalmers Award of TMS. Please see for further information and publications.
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