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Concepts in Thermal Physics Paperback – Nov 15 2009

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Review from previous edition: "The best book I have ever encountered at this level ... a winner." --Michael C. Mackey, McGill University

"With so many results derived from so few assumptions, it is important that the presentation be clear and logical. Concepts in Thermal Physics by Stephen J. Blundell and Katherine M. Blundell fulfills that need admirably ... Concepts in Thermal Physics provides an excellent introduction to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. It deserves serious consideration as a textbook for any undergraduate course on those topics." --Physics Today

"...elementary and admirably clear expositions of a wide range of subjects not often found in introductory texts... many coming to the subject for the first time will want to consult this book." --Contemporary Physics

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204 line drawings and halftones --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, but not as a stand alone text Jan. 6 2011
By J. Carman - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book in conjunction with Kittel for an upper division undergraduate course, and was extremely happy that I did. I constantly turned to this text when Kittel became too dense and confusing. This text really helped clarify many of the essential concepts of this course. In addition, I consistently used this as a reference. This book consolidates important information and equations very clearly and concisely; something that Kittel does very poorly.

However, Kittel was still essential in getting at the root of the physics behind the concepts. Kittel is a much deeper book when asking "Why?". Blundell and Blundell is a wonderful text, but is not the best stand-alone text. I highly recommend it as a supplemental text.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Statistical Thermodynamics April 29 2008
By Abid - Published on
Format: Paperback
The advantage of the text is that its an easy read. The chapters are short, the mathematics is elementary (multi-variable calculus is the supremum of what one should know) and the concepts are readily available to one willing to stop and think (as opposed to one who wishes to be fed directly).
However, there are points where the author discusses topics repeatedly at an almost childish level. Moreover, there exists many errors within the text. Though most are minor and sort of obvious, they are rather annoying. The end of chapter problems are mostly mathematical manipulations. There are of course problems that test one's conceptual understanding of the material; however, the subject is mathematical in nature and the concepts are relatively babyish.
Reading through chapters 1-30, my opinion of the text is that its a great buy if one wishes to see the subject through a mathematical lens (which is hopefully the case).
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
What were they thinking? Feb. 7 2008
By Astrofyziky - Published on
Format: Paperback
Where do I begin? We had switched to using this textbook for our second course in statistical mechanics at the undergraduate level; I wish we hadn't. The chapters are short which makes reading them easy. However, because of the short chapters, I don't feel that it goes as in depth as I would like it to. Perhaps it could explain things a lot better if it didn't use the word "hence" in every sentence. The authors should have written this book with a thesaurus.
One of the biggest flaws is that the book is filled with many mistakes. There is an errata for this book, but only covers a tiny fraction of the mistakes. Many of the end of chapter problems are stated unclear, and have many errors. For example, it asks you to derive something, and the equation it wants you to derive is wrong. In the appendix, it gives mathematical derivations to some special functions, like the volume of a hypersphere, and the derivation is wrong! Also, the end of chapter problems are nothing more than mathematical manipulations and derivations. None of the questions help develop a concept for the material.
I recommend not getting this book.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The best textbook I ever had (so far) Nov. 19 2008
By Bekah - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. Its funny, clear, exciting, and a good read.

The concepts actually make sense. And it is all cut up into sizable little chapters, with important concepts summarized at the end of each chapter.

This is the best textbook I've ever had.
This is a fun book to read Dec 4 2014
By George Hrabovsky - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fun book to read. No. Really. It is! It is rare for a physics book to talk about spherical chicken or nut roasts, for example. The principles and examples are clearly delineated. There are margin notes from the authors. Suggestions for what math you need for certain sections. Biographies of major players in thermal physics. And suggestions for further reading for some chapters.