About this book
In this revised and enlarged second edition of an established text Tony Guénault provides a clear and refreshingly readable introduction to statistical physics, an essential component of any first degree in physics. The treatment itself is self-contained and concentrates on an understanding of the physical ideas, without requiring a high level of mathematical sophistication.
A straightforward quantum approach to statistical averaging is adopted from the outset (easier, the author believes, than the classical approach). The initial part of the book is geared towards explaining the equilibrium properties of a simple isolated assembly of particles. Thus, several important topics, for example an ideal spin-½ solid, can be discussed at an early stage. The treatment of gases gives full coverage to Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics.
Towards the end of the book the student is introduced to a wider viewpoint and new chapters are included on chemical thermodynamics, interactions in, for example, liquid helium-3 and helium-4, and statistics under extreme conditions (superconductivity and astrophysical systems).