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Which stat mech text?

  1. Jul 23, 2007 #1

    I've acquired a few stat mech texts.

    1)Landau & Lif****z: A Course in Theoretical Physics: Statistical Mechanics part 1 and 2

    Which of these should I start with to self-study statistical mechanics? I'm eager to read one of the famous Landau texts, but I'm afraid it may be a bit more dated than Chandler. Huang I've heard uses a non-standard kinetic approach that some love and some hate. Which one to begin with? I'm currently leaning towards Landau.

    Also, is a grounding in Halliday and Resnick suficient to tackle Goldstein? I'm borrowing it from a friend, having failed to find the legendary Mechanics by Landau that seems to make everyone salivate. I've also heard that these standard texts offer a cordinate based approach while an alternate breed of texts use manifolds to develop classical mech in a coordinate free manner. This sounds very interesting. Can you tell me more about it? Do these texts carry their own math or is a previous aquitance with topolgy/differential geometry required? What is the best text of this kind?

    Thanks a lot.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2007 #2

    Dr Transport

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    Reif is the text you should start with. Get the Berkely series for statistical physics then go on to his more advanced text.
  4. Jul 23, 2007 #3
    I think that Greiner, Neise and Stoecker, "Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics" is a wonderful intro stat mech book.

    Heh, I love how the autobleep function took liberties with "Lif****z".
  5. Jul 23, 2007 #4


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    I learned with Tony Guenault's book. Its an excellent intro text used in the UK.
  6. Jul 23, 2007 #5
    Which Huang are you talking about? The new "undergrad" version or the standard old-school version? DO NOT USE THE NEW "UNDERGRAD" VERSION NO MATTER WHAT. It is a horrible text.

    I like Landau & Lif****z. And Reif is a good book to start from.
  7. Jul 24, 2007 #6
    my only experience with stat mech so far is with sanchez and browley, so i can't comment on any of the listed books.

    usually, one takes a course using, say, thornton and marion, between the halliday and resnick course in mechanics and the goldstein course.
  8. Jul 24, 2007 #7


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    Google books has previews and reviews of many texts. If you're having trouble deciding why not take a look and see which you fancy on there.

  9. Jul 24, 2007 #8
    Thank you all for your comments, but I don't have Greiner or any of the other texts mentioned. I've the three texts I listed and am wondering which one I should start with. Even better will be if you could tell me which topics are strong in which books. Thanks.

  10. Jul 24, 2007 #9
    How do I find out which one my Huang is? And is it possible to begin with Landau? I've already had a basic introduction to thermodynamics with Atkin's Physical Chemistry and a very basic introduction to stat mech with Meghnad Saha and Srivastav's A Treatise on Heat. Thanks.

  11. Jul 24, 2007 #10
  12. Jul 25, 2007 #11
    Thanks. So is it possible to begin with Landau?
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