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Robert Gasser and W G Richards

An introduction to statistical thermodynamics

An introduction to statistical thermodynamics by Gasser and Richards is a small book, but the authors manage to pack a significant amount of useful material into it. The book contains the typical applications of thermodynamics to physics, such as calculation of heat capacities and the behaviour of materials at low temperatures but since the authors are professors of chemistry, the book also has several chapters on topics related to that subject, such as rates of reaction and spectroscopy. The final chapter looks at the thermodynamics of biopolymers, showing how the subject relates to the behaviour of DNA and proteins.

The book is written for readers at the level of science undergraduates. It takes a statistical point of view throughout, showing how the approach of finding the quantum energy levels of a system and then deriving its partition function has a wide range of applications. As is to be expected it has quite a bit of maths, especially at the start. Well actually the maths continues throughout the book, but the later parts have more discussion of the topics, and so are easier to read without following the mathematics There is also a chapter on the use of computer simulations in the study of thermodynamic systems, including monte carlo methods and molecular dynamics calculations.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 192 pages  
ISBN: 9810223722
Salesrank: 4066244
Weight:0.79 lbs
Published: 1995 World Scientific Pub Co Inc
Amazon price $22.50
Marketplace:New from $22.50:Used from $15.37
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 192 pages  
ISBN: 9810223722
Salesrank: 1890130
Weight:0.79 lbs
Published: 1995 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd
Marketplace:New from £25.20:Used from £19.63
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 192 pages  
ISBN: 9810223722
Salesrank:
Weight:0.79 lbs
Published: 1995 World Scientific Pub Co Inc
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 66.95:Used from CDN$ 27.85
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Product Description
Statistical thermodynamics plays a vital linking role between quantum theory and chemical thermodynamics, yet students often find the subject unpalatable.In this updated version of a popular text, the authors overcome this by emphasising the concepts involved, in particular demystifying the partition function. They do not get bogged down in the mathematical niceties that are essential for a profound study of the subject but which can confuse the beginner. Strong emphasis is placed on the physical basis of statistical thermodynamics and the relations with experiment. After a clear exposition of the distribution laws, partition functions, heat capacities, chemical equilibria and kinetics, the subject is further illuminated by a discussion of low-temperature phenomena and spectroscopy. The coverage is brought right up to date with a chapter on computer simulation and a final section which ranges beyond the narrow limits usually associated with student texts to emphasise the common dependence of macroscopic behaviour on the properties of constituent atoms and molecules.Since first published in 1974 as ‘Entropy and Energy Levels’, the book has been very popular with students. This revised and updated version will no doubt serve the same needs.