Physics & Astronomy

Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell, Second Edition

    Foreword by
  • Anthony Zee

The essential introduction to modern statistical mechanics—now completely updated and expanded


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Aug 6, 2024
74 line illus. 6 tables.
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Statistical mechanics is one of the most exciting areas of physics today and has applications to subjects ranging from economics and social behavior to algorithmic theory and evolutionary biology. Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell provides a self-contained introduction to this rapidly developing field. Starting with the basics of kinetic theory and requiring only a background in elementary calculus and mechanics, this concise book discusses the most important developments of recent decades and guides readers to the very threshold of today’s cutting-edge research.

  • Features a new chapter on stochastic thermodynamics with an introduction to the thermodynamics of information—the first treatment of its kind in an introductory textbook
  • Offers a more detailed account of numerical simulations, including simulated annealing and other accelerated Monte Carlo methods
  • The chapter on complex systems now features an accessible introduction to the replica theory of spin glasses and the Hopfield theory of neural networks, with an emphasis on applications
  • Provides a new discussion of defect-mediated transitions and their implications for two-dimensional melting
  • An invaluable resource for graduate students and advanced undergraduates seeking a compact primer on the core ideas of statistical mechanics
  • Solutions manual (available only to instructors)