Statistical Mechanics: Entropy, Order Parameters, and Complexity, Hardback Book

Statistical Mechanics: Entropy, Order Parameters, and Complexity Hardback

Part of the Oxford Master Series in Physics series


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Statistical mechanics is our tool for deriving the laws that emerge from complex systems.

Sethna's text distills the subject to be accessible to those in all realms of science and engineering - avoiding extensive use of quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and molecular physics. Statistical mechanics explains how bacteria search for food, and how DNA replication is proof-read in biology; optimizes data compression, and explains transitions in complexity in computerscience; explains the onset of chaos, and launched random matrix theory in mathematics; addresses extreme events in engineering; and models pandemics and language usage in the social sciences. Sethna's exercises introduce physicists to these triumphs and a hundred others - broadening the horizons ofscholars both practicing and nascent. Flipped classrooms and remote learning can now rely on 33 pre-class exercises that test reading comprehension (Emergent vs. fundamental; Weirdness in high dimensions; Aging, entropy and DNA), and 70 in-class activities that illuminate and broaden knowledge (Card shuffling; Human correlations; Crackling noises).

Science is awash in information, providing ready access to definitions, explanations, and pedagogy.

Sethna's text focuses on the tools we use tocreate new laws, and on the fascinating simple behavior in complex systems that statistical mechanics explains.