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I'm doing an undergrad research project that lies at the intersection of biology and nonequilibrium thermodynamics, but I'm starting to realize almost none of my equilibrium thermo/stat mech knowledge carries over.

What's a good book on this subject that covers both near-equilibrium (e.g. linear response) results, as well as more recent far-from-equilibrium (e.g. Jarzynski and Crooks equalities) results? Coverage of nonequilibrium steady states and simulation methods is a plus.

I'm going for a physical understanding, not complete mathematical rigor; I know real/complex analysis but not, say, probability theory or functional analysis.

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marked as duplicate by Qmechanic Oct 4 '18 at 15:28

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    $\begingroup$ I won't give any recommendations but I will give a warning. Non-equilibrium thermodynamics is, for the most part, an ad-hoc discipline. Whether any particular Ansatz works for a particular problem is only validated by the results of the specific experiment one is doing. My understanding is that many problems in biophysics (like protein or DNA/RNA folding/unfolding, optical tweezers etc.) are essentially random walks in a fixed low dimensional effective potential. This is a very special subset of much harder non-equilibrium problems which show phase transitions and dimensionality changes. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Jan 1 '16 at 7:16
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You may want to check 'Elements of Non-Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics' by V. Balakrishnan. The book does not cover too large a ground but focuses on the basic probabilistic tools of the subject. It has plenty of appendixes to help the reader not get distracted by technical details. Its most appealing attribute is that it makes the reader feel that the subject follows logically from known basic physics instead of making a leap into the subject by starting from Onsager relations and the likes.

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I am sure there are more complete or simpler books on the topic, but I found very enlightening to read the first chapter of Puri's book on Kinetics of Phase Transitions. In particular, I think this is a book written by a researcher which works with phase transitions of mixtures, which can be particularly relevant for those studying non-equilibrium physics in biological systems. He works in India, but I found a version of the first chapter in this link from University of Kentucky: http://www.pa.uky.edu/~murthy/INES2011Kolkata/Lectures/Sanjay-Puri-Ch1.pdf. The book is aimed in researchers but I would say that the first lines might be useful for getting a general picture of the main universal steps involved in the non-equilibrium analysis of thermodynamic systems.

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