Statistical Physics for Babies
Statistical Physics for Babies is a colorful and simple introduction to entropy. Entropy measures how "random" things look. The second law of thermodynamics says that things tend to look more random as time passes. Baby will learn why!
Statistical physics is a branch of physics that evolved from a foundation of statistical mechanics, which uses methods of probability theory and statistics, and particularly the mathematical tools for dealing with large populations and approximations, in solving physical problems. It can describe a wide variety of fields with an inherently stochastic nature. Its applications include many problems in the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, neuroscience. Its main purpose is to clarify the properties of matter in aggregate, in terms of physical laws governing atomic motion.
Statistical mechanics develops the phenomenological results of thermodynamics from a probabilistic examination of the underlying microscopic systems. Historically, one of the first topics in physics where statistical methods were applied was the field of classical mechanics, which is concerned with the motion of particles or objects when subjected to a force.
Statistical physics explains and quantitatively describes superconductivity, superfluidity, turbulence, collective phenomena in solids and plasma, and the structural features of liquid. It underlies the modern astrophysics. In solid state physics, statistical physics aids the study of liquid crystals, phase transitions, and critical phenomena. Many experimental studies of matter are entirely based on the statistical description of a system. These include the scattering of cold neutrons, X-ray, visible light, and more. Statistical physics also plays a role in materials science, nuclear physics, astrophysics, chemistry, biology and medicine (e.g. study of the spread of infectious diseases).