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Physics 4153: Statistical Physics & Thermodynamics
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Have you ever wondered

  • Why automobile manufacturers can't make a gasoline engine that's even 50% efficient?
  • Why the US patent office won't even consider applications for perpetual motion machines?
  • Why you can't heat your coffee by just stirring vigorously?
  • What entropy is, and why it's such a big deal?
  • Why matter doesn't collapse due to electrostatic forces?
  • How black holes can radiate?
  • How Bose-Einstein condensates form, and why they're so cool?
Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying statistical mechanics, died in 1906, by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on the work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study statistical mechanics. Perhaps it will be wise to approach the subject cautiously.
David L. Goodstein States of Matter (Prentice-Hall 1975)
Last modified on Wednesday, 16-Aug-2006 14:31:55 CDT    
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