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Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. (English) Zbl 0823.73001
Berlin: Springer Verlag. xii, 463 p. (1995).
The book contains the lectures that form part of the course in theoretical physics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main. We present thermodynamics and statistics according to the inductive method which comes closest to the methodology of the research physicist. Starting from some key experimental observations, the framework of the theory is developed and, after the basic equations are obtained, new phenomena are investigated from thereon.
The first part of the book covers basic thermodynamics with its wide range of applications in physics, chemistry and engineering. A large variety of examples and applications, as well as detailed descriptions of the necessary mathematical tools, are inserted to guide the reader through this vast field. Emphasis is laid on the microscopic understanding and interpretation of macroscopic processes. Among the subjects covered in this first part are the statistical interpretation of temperature and entropy (which is discussed in great detail, especially in the second part of this volume), thermodynamic machines, phase transitions and chemical reactions.
The second part deals with statistical mechanics. Microcanonical, canonical and macrocanonical ensembles are introduced and their various applications (ideal and real gases, fluctuations, paramagnetism and phase transitions) are demonstrated.
The third part covers quantum statistics. Beginning with ideal quantum gases, we discuss Fermi and Bose gases and show their multiple applications which stretch from solid state physics to astrophysics (neutron stars and white dwarfs) and nuclear physics (nuclei, hadronic matter and the possible phase transition to a quark gluon plasma).
The last part of this book presents a survey of real gases and phase transitions. Mayer’s cluster expansion and the Ising and Heisenberg models serve as a basis for an introduction into this challenging new field of scientific research.

MSC:
74-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to mechanics of deformable solids
74A15 Thermodynamics in solid mechanics
82-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to statistical mechanics
80-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to classical thermodynamics
00A79 Physics
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