Statistical Physics: Berkeley Physics Course, Vol. 5 – F. Reif – 2nd Edition


This is a two-year elementary college physics course for students majoring in and engineering. The intention of the writers has been to present elementary physics as far as possible in the way in which it is used by physicists working on the forefront of their field. We have sought to make a course which would vigorously emphasize the foundations of physics. Our specific objectives were to introduce coherently into an elementary curriculum the ideas of special relativity, of , and of statistical physics. This course is intended for any student who has had a physics course in high school. A course including the should be taken at the same time as this course.

Physics text books have a history, save a few notable exceptions, of being rather poorly written. This book, as well as some of the other books in the Berkley physics series (the text books are highly sought after by physics students, but are unfortuantly out of print and therefor hard to find) are written in a way that is easy to follow and actually pleasnt to read. This book helped me get through my and stastical mechanics book at thanks to its starighforward writing style as well as its number of examples and diagrams where need. If only this book was actually my text book, instead of what we used.

The only down side of the book is that beacause it is out of print, the information is not necessicarlly that up to date. The book does give a very good foundation into stastical mechanics, but lacks some of the more recent developements in the feild such as the experimental proof of Bose-Einstein condensates.

Table of Contents

1. Characteristic Features of Macroscopic Systems
2. Basic Probability Concepts
3. Statistical Description of Systems of Particles
4. Thermal Interaction
5. Microscopic Theory and Macroscopic Measurements
6. Canonical Distribution in the Classical Approximation
7. General Thermodynamic Interaction
8. Elementary Kinetic Theory of Transport Processes
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