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An alternative introductory textbook for statistical mechanics

  1. Aug 29, 2013 #1
    An Introduction To Thermodynamics And Statistical Mechanics by Stowe is the course textbook for my Statistical Physics course I am having trouble with the book as it does NOT provide good examples and explanations nor does it have solutions just answers.

    I was wondering if there is Schaums or equivalent book with lots of worked through example that would cover the same materials be accessible to a beginner but still cover the more advanced topics as I will be using it for a 3rd year undergrad course it would need to cover things like quantum effects with diatomic molecules and quantum statistical mechanics

    Even another textbook that covers the same materials with lots of worked through examples and better explanations

    P.S sorry for the long post and thanks to any who reply
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2013 #2


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    I don't know at which level you are studying Stat. Mech. On the graduate level, I'd recommend vol. V of Landau/Lisfshitz, which is very comprehensive and modern (although the original book was already written in 1939!). All problems (that are rather challenging) are solved in these books. On the undergraduate level, have a look at

    H.B. Callen, Thermodynamics and Introduction to Thermostatistics

    which gives a very good introduction into the concepts.

    Another standard book is

    Reif, Fundamentals of statistical and thermal physics,

    which I personally find it has the tendencey to be a bit too talkative.
  4. Aug 29, 2013 #3
    @vanhees71 "I don't know at which level you are studying Stat. Mech."
    I am a 3rd year Undergrad this my first time being introduced to the subject from a physics prospective
  5. Aug 29, 2013 #4
    Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell
    by Luca Peliti
  6. Aug 29, 2013 #5
    Isn't that more of a graduate level book though ?
  7. Aug 29, 2013 #6
    Even lecture materials would help if any one can recommend any although I would really like a book so I can work through problems preferably with solution so I can check my answers
  8. Aug 29, 2013 #7
    Do you know any for a upper year undergrad level (3rd year) with lots of problems that have solutions
  9. Aug 29, 2013 #8
    The first 11 chapters of McQuarrie's statistical mechanics book are undergraduate level if you want to see examples of how the formalism is used.

    I highly recommend Schroder, Thermal Physics.
  10. Aug 30, 2013 #9


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    If you haven't already done so, I recommend you check your university library. There is nothing like flipping through a book to see if it is the type of book that would help. Perhaps your library has the book by mandl, or the book by bowley and sanchez. No, I have never looked at them, but a look at the table of contents they both have solutions and are undergrad level books. On amazon, the 'look inside' feature for bowley and sanchez
    allows you to look at a few pages of the solutions. It might be an awful book, I don't know, which is why I recommend the library.

    by the way, I second the recommendation of schroeder - it has great explanations. No answers, though. Reif has answers (no solutions) to enough of the problems to have kept me on track. It is verbose, though, which was fine for me (no class, just self study) but might be too much to wade through while a full time student and taking courses based on other books.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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