Probability in Physics

An Introductory Guide

  • Andy Lawrence

Part of the Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics book series (ULNP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. The Basics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Andy Lawrence
      Pages 3-18
    3. Andy Lawrence
      Pages 19-38
  3. Frequency Distributions in the Physical World

  4. Probabilistic Inference: Reasoning in the Presence of Uncertainty

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 113-114
    2. Andy Lawrence
      Pages 115-136
    3. Andy Lawrence
      Pages 137-158
    4. Andy Lawrence
      Pages 183-206
  5. Selected Topics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 207-207
    2. Andy Lawrence
      Pages 209-231
    3. Andy Lawrence
      Pages 233-259
    4. Andy Lawrence
      Pages 261-284
    5. Andy Lawrence
      Pages 285-309
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 311-347

About this book


This textbook presents an introduction to the use of probability in physics, treating introductory ideas of both statistical physics and of statistical inference, as well the importance of probability in information theory, quantum mechanics, and stochastic processes, in a unified manner. The book also presents a harmonised view of frequentist and Bayesian approaches to inference, emphasising their complementary value. The aim is to steer a middle course between the "cookbook" style and an overly dry mathematical statistics style. The treatment is driven by real physics examples throughout, but developed with a level of mathematical clarity and rigour appropriate to mid-career physics undergraduates. Exercises and solutions are included.


Probability textbook "Bayesian" approach "Frequentist" approach Binomial, Poisson, and related distributions Gaussian distribution Hypothesis testing Randomness, probability, and credibility Statistical inference Statistics for physicists Stochastic processes

Authors and affiliations

  • Andy Lawrence
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for AstronomyUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

Bibliographic information