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The Theory of Magnetism II: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (Springer Series in Solid-State Sciences) (Volume 55)


What is thermodynamics? What does statistical physics teach us? In the pages of this slim book, we confront the answers. The reader will discover that where thermodynami cs provi des a 1 arge scal e, macroscopi c theory of the ef­ fects of temperature on physical systems, statistical mechanics provides the microscopic analysis of these effects which, invariably, are the results of thermal disorder. A number of systems in nature undergo dramatic changes in aspect and in their properties when subjected to changes in ambient temperature or pres­ sure, or when electric or magnetic fields are applied. The ancients already knew that a liquid, a solid, or a gas can represent different states of the same matter. But what is meant by "state"? It is here that the systematic study of magnetic materials has provided one of the best ways of examining this question, which is one of the principal concerns of statistical physics (alias "statistical mechanics") and of modern thermodynamics.

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