Stat mech book advice

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Stat mech book advice

Postby JyxyL » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:58 pm

Ok, I need a little book advice, and I hope im posting in the right forum...

I am finishing up my MS in physics, and am taking stat mech from Pathria's text. Next year I will basically have a year off...I'll be working only part time, and studying for qualifiers (im going to apply to phd programs for the fall of 2013). Im going to focus my preperation on the core 4 subject areas of classical, quantum, and statistical mechanics, and electrodynamics. In addition to working many practice problems, Id also like to read some additional texts. My intent is to eventually work in quantum field theory.

I have been searching for books on the core 4 subjects that would give me a deeper level of understanding than that normally obtained in the first year graduate classes; and have had trouble selecting a good stat mech book. Allow me to explain a little more about what Im searching for...

In classical mechanics, I selected the text by Jose and Saletan because it developes the subject within the framework of differential geometry; a different approach than the traditional texts by authors such as Goldstein.

In electrodynamics, I will be using the book by Baylis, because it uses clifford algebra and differential it a different slant than the more canonical books by authours like Jackson.

In Quantum, I found a book by Lam that seems to emphasize the group theory and geometric symmetries a bit more than does the standard Sakurai text. (Im not 100% sure about this text yet, if anyone knows a good 'alternative' quantum text, please let me know)

Sorry for the big wall of text, but I think it helps explain what I'm seeking.

So, Does anyone know of a good (graduate level) stat mech book that approaches the subject from a non-standard viewpoint? A text that might provide me with a deeper (or perhaps only different) theoretical insight into the subject of statistical mechanics?

Thanks alot!


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Re: Stat mech book advice

Postby mrrsnhtl » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:37 am

Reif could provide what you seek.

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Re: Stat mech book advice

Postby JyxyL » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:01 pm

Hmm....I have a copy of Reif that I sometimes reference while working through Pathria, and it is a very good book, but seems to approach the subject from the same viewpoint as most of the other texts. Im not sure if there is a stat mech book that really takes a very different approach than the standard texts.

I guess im looking for a book that uses more sophisticated mathematics to explore the subject in a more mathematically elegant way. Like the books I mentioned above that explore classical physics using differential geometry and clifford algebras; but for statistical mechanics instead...A book that uses more sophisticated math to explore stat mech than traditional graduate stat mech books.

Or perhaps someone very informed might be able to tell me that such a kind of book doesnt even exist.

-Thanks for the tip though :)

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Re: Stat mech book advice

Postby InquilineKea » Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:19 pm

How do Kardar and Reif compare to each other? Kardar does look a lot smaller - that's for sure.

Also, what about Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell?

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Re: Stat mech book advice

Postby Lavabug » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:08 pm

I don't know if it has what you're looking for, but I really like R. Kubo's "Statistical Mechanics", I've never laid hands on anything better for the subject: ... +mechanics

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