Statistical mechanics: An Elementary Outline


This book presents the basics of equilibrium statistical mechanics to the beginner and, at the same time, develops the subject with well chosen examples and worked out problems right up to the point where the student can take up an advanced course with confidence. It is self contained and combines thoroughness with lucidity of presentation. It begins with an account of the classical basis of statistical mechanics, and then goes on to explain the essential role of quantum mechanics in providing the conceptual base of the subject.

The concept of mixed state and reduced state of a system are introduced in terms of which a lucid exposition of the basic principles is attempted. Clearly explaining the conditions under which the micro-canonical, canonical, and grand canonical descriptions arise, the book exhibits their equivalence, and goes on to explain the semi-classical limit in clear terms. A few relatively advanced topics like the modified equi-partition principle for anharmonic oscillators, the B-E condensation, and the quantum and classical virial expansions are taken up to indicate the scope of the subject.

The book will be useful not only to graduate students of physics, but to students of related disciplines like chemistry, biology, and chemical engineering as well. With such a wide audience in mind, the book is written so as to make a highly readable volume, though at a serious level. It contains a number of appendices that will be of interest to the relatively advanced students as well as to specialists.

The book is now available as an e-book at

An introductory book on statistical mechanics, with a broader coverage, is now in preparation

06. October 2016 by Avijit Lahiri
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