My background is in statistics, so I am not well versed in the details of physics, lattices, and ideal gases, etc.--beyond my high school familiarity. However, I have been looking at some models of critical behavior/phase transition in social phenomena like crime, and these models rely on phase transition and Ginzburg-Landau theory.

I tried to watch the lectures of Mehran Kardar for his Statistical Physics class on the MIT Youtube channel. The lectures are good, but they are pretty detailed. It is like trying to learn a subject from a reference book, instead of an introductory textbook. In other words, I am getting too caught up in the details and am "losing the forest for the trees" as it were. At this point, I still just need a decent but high level understanding of how these models of phase transition work. I don't mind the mathematics, but at this point I need more comfort with the intuition and underlying phenomena and then I can augment that with the mathematics.

Can anyone recommend a good intuitive introduction or survey of statistical physics and Ginzburg-Landau theory.


Before answering, please see our policy on resource recommendation questions. Please write substantial answers that detail the style, content, and prerequisites of the book, paper or other resource. Explain the nature of the resource so that readers can decide which one is best suited for them rather than relying on the opinions of others. Answers containing only a reference to a book or paper will be removed!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.