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Statistical physics

  1. Jul 22, 2008 #1
    I've recently gotten interested in statistical physics. Notions derived from this area are frequently applied in learning theory and other areas of biology which are of interest to me.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows of a good book or web resource for learning about statistical physics that would be appropriate for someone with my background.

    I have almost no physics background at all. The only physics class that I ever took was a high school AP physics -mechanics class years ago.

    My undergraduate degree was in mathematics and recently I've been putting a lot of time into studying stochastic dynamics (Ito calculus, stochastic PDEs etc).

    Does anyone know of a book on statistical physics that I could learn from? I tend to have trouble reading physics books due to the extensive use of physics jargon with which I am unfamiliar.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2008 #2


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    There are many good introductory statistical physics texts. The book by Friedrick Reif, Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics, serves as a pretty good introduction.
  4. Jul 22, 2008 #3
    Also: Introduction to medern statistical mechanics, Chandler
  5. Jul 22, 2008 #4
    Do NOT get this book:


    This is the one I used for undegrad statistical mechanics. The course was very interesting but the book sucked. The questions were pretty vague or just confusing and the material was presented the same way. You'd see huge jumps in derivation or variables used that weren't explained until later.

    The worst part is that he would use the letter "n" in various fonts and stuff for about 50 variables. I'm not even joking. It got so confusing to just try and figure out what his variables mean...
  6. Jul 22, 2008 #5
    Wow, I just found out I get a different teacher and hence not that book for stat mech next semester.

    Looks like I may have lucked out.
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