Statistical mechanics has been proven to be successful at describing physical systems at thermodynamic equilibrium. Since most natural phenomena occur in nonequilibrium conditions, the present challenge is to find suitable physical approaches for such conditions: this book provides a pedagogical pathway that explores various perspectives. The use of clear language, and explanatory figures and diagrams to describe models, simulations and experimental findings makes the book a valuable resource for undergraduate and graduate students, and also for lecturers organizing teaching at varying levels of experience in the field. Written in three parts, it covers basic and traditional concepts of nonequilibrium physics, modern aspects concerning nonequilibrium phase transitions, and application-orientated topics from a modern perspective. A broad range of topics is covered, including Langevin equations, Levy processes, directed percolation, kinetic roughening and pattern formation.
Paolo Politi is Head of the Florence Unit of the Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi, Firenze, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, and teaches statistical physics at the Universit... degli Studi di Firenze. He is Fellow of the Marie Curie Association, of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He was awarded the Outreach Prize of the Italian Physical Society for promoting the public discussion of science through Science Cafes. Roberto Livi is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Universit... degli Studi di Firenze, where he teaches courses on statistical physics and thermodynamics. He is also the Director of the Interdepartment Center for the Study of Complex Dynamics and an associate member of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) and of the Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi, Firenze, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR).