All macroscopic systems consist ultimately of atoms obeying the laws of quantum mechanics. That premise forms the basis for this comprehensive text, intended for a first upper-level course in statistical and thermal physics. Reif emphasizes that the combination of microscopic concepts with some statistical postulates leads readily to conclusions on a purely macroscopic level. The author s writing style and penchant for description energize interest in condensed matter physics as well as provide a conceptual grounding with information that is crystal clear and memorable. Reif first introduces basic probability concepts and statistical methods used throughout all of physics. Statistical ideas are then applied to systems of particles in equilibrium to enhance an understanding of the basic notions of statistical mechanics, from which derive the purely macroscopic general statements of thermodynamics. Next, he turns to the more complicated equilibrium situations, such as phase transformations and quantum gases, before discussing non equilibrium situations in which he treats transport theory and dilute gases at varying levels of sophistication. In the last chapter, he addresses some general questions involving irreversible processes and fluctuations. A large amount of material is presented to facilitate students later access to more advanced works, to allow those with higher levels of curiosity to read beyond the minimum given on a topic, and to enhance understanding by presenting several ways of looking at a particular question. Formatting within the text either signals material that instructors can assign at their own discretion or highlights important results for easy reference to them. Additionally, by solving many of the 230 problems contained in the text, students activate and embed their knowledge of the subject matter.
About the Author
Frederick Reif, emeritus professor in Physics and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, died on August 11th, 2019. He was 92. A member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty for eleven years, he taught previously at UC Berkeley for twenty-nine years and the University of Chicago for eight years. Fred had a prolific scientific career, where he studied a wide range of topics from superfluids to cognition and education.
Frederich (later Frederick) Reif was born in Vienna, Austria in 1927 to Gerschon Reif, a dentist, and Klara (Chaja Lea) Gottfried Reif, a homemaker, who had come to that city after World War I from their native Poland (until the war the province of Galicia in the Austro-Hungarian empire). Along with his younger sister Liane (b.1934), they lived very comfortably near the Prater. Fred received violin lessons, in which he excelled (and which would provide a lifelong solace) and began studies at an academic Gymnasium (high school) at age 10.
Solutions Manual of Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics by Reif | 1st edition ISBN 9781577666127
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Solutions Manual of Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics by Reif