Skip to main content
main-content

Über dieses Buch

In this final volume I have tried to present the subject of statistical mechanics in accordance with the basic principles of the series. The effort again entailed following Gustav Mahler's maxim, "Tradition = Schlamperei" (i.e., filth) and clearing away a large portion of this tradition-laden area. The result is a book with little in common with most other books on the subject. The ordinary perturbation-theoretic calculations are not very useful in this field. Those methods have never led to propositions of much substance. Even when perturbation series, which for the most part never converge, can be given some asymptotic meaning, it cannot be determined how close the nth order approximation comes to the exact result. Since analytic solutions of nontrivial problems are beyond human capabilities, for better or worse we must settle for sharp bounds on the quantities of interest, and can at most strive to make the degree of accuracy satisfactory.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Systems with Many Particles

Abstract
Macroscopic bodies act in an irreversible and deterministic manner in contrast with the reversible and indeterministic character of the underlying laws of quantum physics. How can the apparent contradiction be understood?
Walter Thirring

2. Thermostatics

Abstract
The heuristic concepts of purer and more chaotic states can be made mathematically precise with reference to a lattice structure of the classes of equivalent density matrices.
Walter Thirring

3. Thermodynamics

Abstract
Whereas small systems evolve almost periodically in time, large systems appear chaotic and their time-evolution mixes the observables thoroughly.
Walter Thirring

4. Physical Systems

Abstract
Among the best examples of large quantum systems are atoms and molecules with highly charged nuclei. Classical features arise in the limit Z → ∞, N → ∞, except that the Fermi statistics continue to have an important effect.
Walter Thirring

Backmatter

Weitere Informationen