A Kinetic View of Statistical Physics

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November 2010



Aimed at graduate students, this book explores some of the core phenomena in non-equilibrium statistical physics. It focuses on the development and application of theoretical methods to help students develop their problem-solving skills. The book begins with microscopic transport processes: diffusion, collision-driven phenomena, and exclusion. It then presents the kinetics of aggregation, fragmentation and adsorption, where the basic phenomenology and solution techniques are emphasized. The following chapters cover kinetic spin systems, both from a discrete and a continuum perspective, the role of disorder in non-equilibrium processes, hysteresis from the non-equilibrium perspective, the kinetics of chemical reactions, and the properties of complex networks. The book contains 200 exercises to test students' understanding of the subject. A link to a website hosted by the authors, containing supplementary material including solutions to some of the exercises, can be found at


1. Aperitifs; 2. Diffusion; 3. Collisions; 4. Exclusion; 5. Aggregation; 6. Fragmentation; 7. Adsorption; 8. Spin dynamics; 9. Coarsening; 10. Disorder; 11. Hysteresis; 12. Population dynamics; 13. Diffusive reactions; 14. Complex networks; References; Index.


Pavel L. Krapivsky is Research Associate Professor of Physics at Boston University. His current research interests are in strongly interacting many-particle systems and their applications to kinetic spin systems, networks, and biological phenomena. Sid Redner is a condensed-matter theorist whose research focuses on non-equilibrium statistical physics and its applications. Dr Redner has been on the physics faculty at Boston University since 1978 and has been a full professor since 1989. He has published 230 research articles and is the author of A Guide to First-Passage Processes (Cambridge University Press, 2001). Dr Redner is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and was a visiting scientist at Schlumberger Research in 1984-1985, the Ulam Scholar at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2004-2005 and a visiting professor at the Universite Paul Sabatier (Toulouse) and Universite Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris) in 2008. Eli Ben-Naim is a theoretical physicist who conducts research in nonequilibrium statistical mechanics. His focus is interacting particle systems and their application to soft matter and complex systems. At the Theoretical Division in Los Alamos National Laboratory, he currently serves as the deputy group leader of the Physics of Condensed Matter and Complex Systems Group and is an affiliate of the Center of Nonlinear Studies. He received his B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem in 1990 and his Ph.D. in Physics from Boston University in 1994. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago before moving to Los Alamos. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (US) and the Institute of Physics (UK). He also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Physics A, the Journal of Statistical Mechanics and the European Journal of Physics B.


Advance praise: 'Non-equilibrium statistical mechanics has so many applications and is strewn with so many different tricks and treats that the only way to teach the subject is through examples. Krapivsky, Redner, and Ben-Naim have written a beautiful book that elegantly covers several of these examples, some classic, others at the boundaries of research. Their target readership is physicists and applied mathematicians, but includes computer scientists, biologists and engineers. Methinks that good students in economics would be well advised to read some chapters of this book, for I am convinced that several breakthroughs in their field will hinge upon concepts and methods from non-equilibrium statistical mechanics.' J. P. Bouchaud, Chairman of Capital Fund Management (Paris) and Statistical Mechanics Professor at Ecole Polytechnique 'Our understanding of nonequilibrium statistical physics and complex systems has advanced at a rapid pace over the past decade, but so far there has been a lack of comprehensive textbooks suited to introduce graduate students into the field. This wonderful book fills this need in an admirable way. Written in the uniquely elegant and accessible style that also characterizes the authors' original scientific work, the book takes the reader gently from the most elementary concepts to the forefront of current research. The topics and their level of presentation are carefully chosen, and they are complemented by a large number of instructive exercises. A particularly nice feature is the highlighted boxes which introduce specific mathematical techniques where they are needed. I am certain that this book will be used as a standard text in graduate courses for a long time to come.' Joachim Krug, University of Cologne 'This is an excellent pedagogical introduction to a broad variety of modern topics in nonequilibrium statistical physics. It includes discussions on fundamental processes in nature such as diffusion, collision, aggregation and fragmentation but also covers applied topics such as population dynamics and evolution of networks. The text is lucid with plenty of examples and exercises - a must read for a graduate student wanting to work in this area.' Satya Majumdar, CNRS, Universite de Paris-Sud
EAN: 9780521851039
ISBN: 0521851033
Untertitel: 125 b/w illus. 200 exercises. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: Cambridge University Press
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2010
Seitenanzahl: 504 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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