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Greiner's Thermodyanmics and Statistical

  1. Jul 9, 2010 #1
    Can anyone advise me about Greiner's Thermodynamics and Statistical Mecahnics ? I want to master that subject and want a book that I can work through from cover to cover in detail. I can say that my command of maths, quantum mechanics and classical mechanics is at the level of Kreyszing and Boas, Griffiths and Golstein respectively.

    Also hoe does Greiner compare with Reif's Fundamentals of Thermal and Statistical Physics.

    I would be very grateful for any relevant advice.


  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2010 #2

    Dr Transport

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    Start with Reif's Statistical Physics from the Berkeley Series, then go on to the Fundamentals of Thermal and Statistical Physics. From there, I'd head into Landau and if you master those, you'll know more stat-mech than you may ever need.
  4. Jul 9, 2010 #3
    wow, I didn't know there was such a thing. Perhaps your are in Elementary Particle Physics or Cosmology.
  5. Jul 9, 2010 #4
    Thanks for your advice. I am infact reading from Reif's Berkelely Course at the moment and its wonderful. Planning to buy his older classic sometime soon.

    But can anybody also comment on Greiner's Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. I heard that his books are like Landau and Lifgarbagez but more accessible to beginners.
  6. Jul 10, 2010 #5
    The book is basically at the level of a junior thermodynamics + statistical physics course. It's not bad, but it's mostly introductory. I used it more as a supplement than anything else. I would recommend Schroeder's book instead to get a nice overview of classical thermodynamics with a modest introduction to statistical mechanics. Then get a graduate text on statistical mechanics, like say Pathria or Kubo (An advanced course with problems and solutions, good book).

    Schroeder's book has lots of problems to work through which is good too. Greiner's book is nice because he has some worked out solutions with lots of detail, but I never used it for more than the occasional checking to see how he derived something or for an alternative explanation.
  7. Jul 10, 2010 #6
    I just looked through the TOC of Greiner's book and it looks pretty well organized and includes the standard topics.

    However, this book mainly deals with single-particle statistical mechanics, i.e. the ensemble theory of ideal gases (of any kind). The only place where it touches upon many-particle problems is the chapter on Mayer cluster expansion, which is the classical mechanics treatment of the problem. Virial expansion is the phenomenological extension of that method for the equation of state for real gases.

    It is understandable, then, that the chapter on phase transitions goes as far as phenomenology can take you. However, phase transitions are in essence many-body problems (ideal gases do not exhibit phase transitions, except for, maybe Bose-Einstein condensation) and there are whole books dealing solely with these topics. I think the last chapter on Heisenberg and Ising models might give you a flavor of what's to come.

    But, for your level of understanding of mathematical methods and Quantum Mechanics, I would say that this book is quite suitable and will give you a good foundation. However, never underestimate the power of guided learning. In lack of it, perhaps you might want to consider to follow some online course resources like:

    http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-044-statistical-physics-i-spring-2008/" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Jul 10, 2010 #7

    Greiner's book on thermo and statistical physics is the first of the textbook i had to study when undergrad about the topic, followed by Reichl's book on statistical physics. I want to say that both of them are really very good. The mathematics they contains is thoroughly theoretical-physics oriented. Meaning, you can understand from there most of thermo and statistical physics used in more advanced topic like, say,in cosmology and advanced general relativity. After having studied Greiner you actually can already go onto more adavnced books in other physics field because Greiner explained everything you need. Reichl is more for if you want to become a warlord in the topic itself =)
  9. Jul 10, 2010 #8
    I thank all of you for detailed replies to my query about Greiners Thermo and Statistical Physics. Almost all replies have have been quite informative and useful particularly because I am learning all on my own. Your replies have made me feel that I do have someone to look up to for advice.


  10. Jul 10, 2010 #9

    Dr Transport

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    Semiconductor theory and optical properties of materials, have not used too much stat-mech in the past 10 years.
  11. Jul 10, 2010 #10
    Cool. Maybe they used it all up 60 years ago.
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