An Introduction To Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics


This introductory textbook for standard undergraduate courses in thermodynamics has been completely rewritten to explore a greater number of topics more clearly and concisely. Starting with an overview of important quantum behaviors, the book teaches students how to calculate probabilities in order to provide a firm foundation for later chapters. It then introduces the ideas of “classical thermodynamics” — internal energy, interactions, entropy, and the fundamental second law.

These ideas are explored both in general and as they are applied to more specific processes and interactions. The remainder of the book deals with “statistical mechanics” — the study of small systems interacting with huge reservoirs. The changes in this Second Edition have been made as a result of more than 10 years of classroom testing and feedback from students. To help students review the important concepts and test their newly gained knowledge, each topic ends with a boxed summary of ideas and results.

Every chapter has numerous homework problems, covering a broad range of difficulties. Answers are given to odd-numbered problems, and solutions to even-numbered problems are available to instructors at Cambridge website.

Stowe is a professor of physics at California Polytechnic State University and has worked there for 32 years. He has spent time at the University of Washington, Harvard, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Michigan. As well as having written the First Edition of Introduction to Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, he has also written books on ocean science.