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Concepts in Thermal Physics [Paperback]

Stephen J. Blundell , Katherine M. Blundell
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Nov 2009
An understanding of thermal physics is crucial to much of modern physics, chemistry and engineering. This book provides a modern introduction to the main principles that are foundational to thermal physics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. The key concepts are carefully presented in a clear way, and new ideas are illustrated with copious worked examples as well as a description of the historical background to their discovery. Applications are presented to subjects as diverse as stellar astrophysics, information and communication theory, condensed matter physics and climate change. Each chapter concludes with detailed exercises.

The second edition of this popular textbook maintains the structure and lively style of the first edition but extends its coverage of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics to include several new topics, including osmosis, diffusion problems, Bayes theorem, radiative transfer, the Ising model and Monte Carlo methods. New examples and exercises have been added throughout.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2 edition (30 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199562105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199562107
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 18.4 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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This is probably the best book I know of thermodynamics and statistical physics. The authors have done really a great job. [...] The contents of the book are organised in such way that it can be used for a standard undergraduate level course in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, where it is also possible to make the appropriate selection of the topics depending on the level and duration of the course. It could also be very useful as a source reference for lecturers in thermodynamics and statistical physics. (M.A.F. Sanjuan, Contemporary Physics)

About the Author

Stephen Blundell did his undergraduate degree in Physics and Theoretical Physics at Peterhouse, Cambridge and his Ph. D. in the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. He moved to the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford to take up an SERC research fellowship, followed by a Junior Research Fellowship at Merton College, where he began research in organic magnets and superconductors using muon-spin rotation. In 1997 he was appointed to a University Lectureship in the Physics Department and a Tutorial Fellowship at Mansfield College, Oxford, and was subsequently promoted to Reader and then Professor. He was a joint winner of the Daiwa-Adrian Prize in 1999 for his work on organic magnets.

Katherine Blundell did her undergraduate degree in Physics and Theoretical Physics at New Hall College, Cambridge and her Ph. D. in the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. She moved to Oxford University Astrophysics department, holding a Junior Research Fellowship at Balliol College, an 1851 Research Fellowship, before taking up a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Her research concentrates on radio galaxies and quasars. In 2005 she won a Leverhulme prize for her research, and became a Professor of Astrophysics in 2008.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, precise and entertaining 2 April 2009
An excellent introduction to thermal physics. Very little is assumed, and explanations in the appendices account for most of the mathematical complications. Thoroughly covers all major topics of interest in the field, with alternative derivations provided for many topics to further aid understanding. Additional chapters expand on the latest research. Little diversions into areas such as Information entropy, and short biographies for most of the prominent figures help sustain interest. The tone is frequently humorous, but this does not detract from the thrust of the argument. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thermodynamics book 5 July 2011
By jf22901
This is one of the best books on thermodynamics I have encountered. What can often come across as a rather boring subject is helped by the lively tone of the book, along with frequent biographies of historical figures.

The book is nicely structured, starting off with the basics, moving on to the laws of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, and including additional topics often not covered in other thermodynamics textbooks, such as stars and black holes. There are also helpful appendices with the main mathematical techniques explained, though you really do need to have a grasp of differentiation and integration before studying this book.

Overall then, and excellent textbook, well worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative Text on Thermal Physics 28 Jun 2010
Rare and excellent text that covered all the important aspect of thermal physics. Recommended for bedtime reading
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well organised and explained 19 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase

This book has superb, high quality paper pages within it covers. Also its very securely bound for a paperback. The book has a weight to it that reflects the quality of the educational guidance you will gain from reading it.

* H.N.D, Undergraduate, Post graduate?

This book covers the wide area of the flow of heat being thermal energy in transit in physical systems. To me, its the way this is cleverly explored in distinct bands of difficulty. These are with some brief exposure to the upper components of a A-Level Math / Chemistry / Physics, the math components of H.N.D and 2nd - year Math parts of a engineering degree. You may fairly attribute these bands of ranking in a different ways, depending on your own study backgrounds? For example. the calculus upon Ln(e), exp(x), and the Greek symbols of summations and products using z variables are well used and very importantly applied many, many times. Also listed are brief life stories of the scientists that helped the development of these sciences.

* What does it cover then?

The bands of exposure covers, Preliminaries, Kinetic theory of gasses, Transport and thermal diffusion, (The) first law of dynamics, (The) second law of dynamics, (The) third law, Thermodynamics in action, Statistical mechanics, Beyond the ideal gas, Special topics, (a) fundamental constants / (b) useful formulae / (c) Useful mathematics / (D) The electromagnetic spectrum / (e) Some thermodynamic spectrum / Thermodynamic definitions / (g) reduced mass / (h) glossary of main symbols, Bibliography and index.

* How is it explained?

Throughout the book and within each of the areas there are many mathematical examples to follow. There are many graphs which usefully explain what's going on.
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