Deconstructing Langevin, Markov, Fokker, Planck...

The publication last week of Elements of Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics by V Balakrishnan of IIT Madras is very welcome. Partly because it is not often that we get to write about books in the natural sciences, but more because a book from Bala is sure to carry the stamp of clarity that has characterised his teaching over the last thirty or so years.

Those who have heard him lecture- regardless of the precise topic- know that he brings not just a formidable knowledge of physics to his teaching, but also much thought on pedagogy and the process of learning. Couple that to a keen wit, a sense of observation and a good taste for physics, and one has all the ingredients for a great text!
This book deals with the basic principles and techniques of a subject whose importance is growing rapidly in view of the advances being made, both experimentally and theoretically, in the study of nonequilibrium phenomena in statistical, chemical and biological physics, complex systems, and several other areas. The book should be accessible to senior undergraduate students and post-graduate students and should provide a clear exposition of many things, among them the Langevin equation, Markov chains, Fokker-Planck equation and the Kubo Green formalism.

A very welcome addition to our Physics list, the book is published by Ane Books in New Delhi. Ane has a select number of original publications (listed on our site, of course) in addition to a large number of important reprints. Come explore!

336 pages. ISBN 8180521559, Rs 595.