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Название: Statistical physics. An introduction
Автор: Yoshioka D.
“More is different” is a famous aphorism of P.W. Anderson, who contributed
rather a lot to the development of condensed-matter physics in the latter
half of the 20th century. He claimed, by this aphorism, that macroscopic systems
behave in a way that is qualitatively different from microscopic systems.
Therefore, additional rules are needed to understand macroscopic systems,
rules additional to the fundamental laws for individual atoms and molecules.
An example is provided by the various kinds of phase transitions that occur.
The state of a sample of matter changes drastically at a transition, and singular
behavior is observed at the transition point. Another good example in
which quantity brings about a qualitative difference is the brain. A brain consists
of a macroscopic number of neural cells. It is believed that every brain
cell functions like an element of a computer. However, even the most sophisticated
computer consists of only a limited number of elements and has no
consciousness. The study of the human brain is still developing.
On the other hand, the paradigm for macroscopic matter, namely thermodynamics
and statistical physics, has a long history of investigation. The first
and second laws of thermodynamics and the principle of equal probability in
statistical physics have been established as laws that govern systems consisting
of a macroscopic number of molecules, such as liquids, gases, and solids (metals,
semiconductors, insulators, magnetic materials, etc.). These laws belong
to a different hierarchy from the laws at the microscopic level, and cannot be
deduced from the latter laws, i.e. quantum mechanics and the laws for forces.
Therefore, a “theory of everything” is useless without these thermodynamic
and statistical-mechanical laws in the real world. The purpose of this book is
to explain these laws of the macroscopic level to undergraduate students who
are learning statistical physics for the first time.