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There are so many Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics books that people suggest, that I don't know which one to use in my upcoming undergraduate course.

So, which one is your favorite?

Thanks in advance!

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- #1

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There are so many Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics books that people suggest, that I don't know which one to use in my upcoming undergraduate course.

So, which one is your favorite?

Thanks in advance!

- #2

BvU

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But then and here Stat Mech was a postgraduate item -- and it gave me a hard time so had to take it twice in successive years. For undergraduate engineers I would recommend Y Cengel, but for budding cosmologists it's unsuitable. So: what undergraduate course ?

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It's a third year Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics course for physicists. I want a book intended for theoretical physicists but one that also intuitively explains the concepts.

But then and here Stat Mech was a postgraduate item -- and it gave me a hard time so had to take it twice in successive years. For undergraduate engineers I would recommend Y Cengel, but for budding cosmologists it's unsuitable. So: what undergraduate course ?

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If you are beginning to learn thermodynamics you should go for Schroeder

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BvU

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Both I mentioned are half a century old; in view of current developments like black hole thermodynamics and such I would expect you need something better to prepare your students for their future. I look forward to following this thread and hope Greg will get it back to a place where it gets more attention.

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Why is that?If you are beginning to learn thermodynamics you should go for Schroeder

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ShayanJ

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For a first introduction, my suggestion is "Heat and Thermodynamics" by Dittman and Zemansky. This was my favorite textbook in my undergraduate years. I also chose Blundell's in the list above.

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What makes Blundell's book better than the others in your opinion?

For a first introduction, my suggestion is "Heat and Thermodynamics" by Dittman and Zemansky. This was my favorite textbook in my undergraduate years. I also chose Blundell's in the list above.

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ShayanJ

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It covers a wide range of topics. The explanations are concise and clear.What makes Blundell's book better than the others in your opinion?

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[Not directed at me, but] I really like Blundell's writing style: the text is clear and engaging, and the derivations elegant. The book is divided into many short chapters, each of which covers only a few key concepts, so I never felt overwhelmed. The problems are interesting and helpful for understanding the material. It was my first textbook in thermodynamics and statistical physics; it's a bit harder in difficulty than Schroeder.What makes Blundell's book better than the others in your opinion?

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I have heard a criticism about it: It uses a lot of "hence" and "therefore" which leaves a lot of crucial steps in derivation unfinished. Wasn't this a problem for you?[Not directed at me, but] I really like Blundell's writing style: the text is clear and engaging, and the derivations elegant. The book is divided into many short chapters, each of which covers only a few key concepts, so I never felt overwhelmed. The problems are interesting and helpful for understanding the material. It was my first textbook in thermodynamics and statistical physics; it's a bit harder in difficulty than Schroeder.

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It does use a lot of "hence" and "therefore"s, but these are just generic connectors in proofs, and I don't recall any omission of crucial steps. If you have an example I'd be glad to go through it with you.I have heard a criticism about it: It uses a lot of "hence" and "therefore" which leaves a lot of crucial steps in derivation unfinished. Wasn't this a problem for you?

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Chestermiller

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The best Thermodynamics book I've seen (for many reasons) is Foundations to Engineering Thermodynamics by Moran et al. I highly recommend this book. Another book that is very good is Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics by Smith and van Ness. For statistical thermo, I like McQuarrie or Hill.It does use a lot of "hence" and "therefore"s, but these are just generic connectors in proofs, and I don't recall any omission of crucial steps. If you have an example I'd be glad to go through it with you.

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Going through some derivations quickly, I found one that confuses me a bit. On page 58 the step before the boxed equation in the upper part of the page. While I understand it, It could be much clearerrIt does use a lot of "hence" and "therefore"s, but these are just generic connectors in proofs, and I don't recall any omission of crucial steps. If you have an example I'd be glad to go through it with you.

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George Jones

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I am looking at my library's e-version of this, and I don't see a boxed equation on page 58. Do you mean page 57, or 59, or ...Going through some derivations quickly, I found one that confuses me a bit. On page 58 the step before the boxed equation in the upper part of the page. While I understand it, It could be much clearerr

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In my version it's the derivation in section 6.1.2 (chapter on Pressure)I am looking at my library's e-version of this, and I don't see a boxed equation on page 58. Do you mean page 57, or 59, or ...

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Once one finishes Callen's text, statistical mechanics can be studied from McQuarrie's text which is more oriented to chemists/materials scientists. This book is very detailed and is a very good reference if you plan to do research that applies statistical mechanics in chemistry/materials science.

For a very modern and concise treatment appealing to physicists I would recommend Kardar's text. Kardar's text is used in a first year grad course at MIT which is also attended by many ambitious undergrads. The problem sets in this text are very modern and shows how powerful statical mechanics in treating very diverse problems, also half of them are solved at the end of the text. Taking this class or alternatively watching the lectures online might help a lot in following the text.

You can watch Kardar's lectures here:

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/...hanics-of-particles-fall-2013/video-lectures/

and also have a look at his freely available lecture notes which are almost the same as the textbook:

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/...chanics-of-particles-fall-2013/lecture-notes/

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