© 2016

Probability for Physicists


Part of the Graduate Texts in Physics book series (GTP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Fundamentals of Probability and Probability Distributions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Simon Širca
      Pages 3-29
    3. Simon Širca
      Pages 31-64
    4. Simon Širca
      Pages 93-121
    5. Simon Širca
      Pages 123-142
    6. Simon Širca
      Pages 143-174
  3. Determination of Distribution Parameters

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 175-175
    2. Simon Širca
      Pages 177-201
    3. Simon Širca
      Pages 203-225
    4. Simon Širca
      Pages 227-258
    5. Simon Širca
      Pages 259-280
  4. Special Applications of Probability

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 281-281
    2. Simon Širca
      Pages 283-305
    3. Simon Širca
      Pages 307-323
    4. Simon Širca
      Pages 325-345
    5. Simon Širca
      Pages 347-359
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 361-415

About this book


This book is designed as a practical and intuitive introduction to probability, statistics and random quantities for physicists. The book aims at getting to the main points by a clear, hands-on exposition supported by well-illustrated and worked-out examples. A strong focus on applications in physics and other natural sciences is maintained throughout. In addition to basic concepts of random variables, distributions, expected values and statistics, the book discusses the notions of entropy, Markov processes, and fundamentals of random number generation and Monte-Carlo methods.


Entropy of physical systems Generation of pseudorandom numbers Markov processes Monte Carlo method Probability distributions Probability theory in physics Random variables and processes Regression calculations Statistical tests Stochastic population modeling

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Mathematics and PhysicsUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

About the authors

Simon Sirca studied physics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, and acquired his first research experience as a young researcher at the Jozef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana and the Institute for Nuclear Physics at the University of Mainz, Germany, concluding his PhD work with the thesis Axial form-factor of the nucleon from coincidence pion electroproduction at low Q2. He was a postdoctoral research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) in the USA. His main research is in the field of hadronic structure and dynamics as explored by scattering of electrons on light nuclei, exploiting state-of-the-art polarized beams, polarized targets, and techniques of recoil polarimetry. He is also involved in theoretical work on quark models of hadrons, with the focus on electroweak processes like pion electroproduction in the nucleon resonance region. He is the head of the research group Structure of Hadronic Systems that has been active in the OOPS and BLAST Collaborations at MIT, a collaboration of Jefferson Lab, and the A1 Collaboration and University of Mainz. He is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, where he has been teaching numerous courses in Mathematical Physics, Modern Physics and Mathematical Physics (Computational Physics).

Bibliographic information

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“Širca … provides a thorough background; sections cover fundamentals of probability analysis, statistical distributions, and applications of the theories using computer-based algorithms. … The work includes useful graphs, four appendixes covering random number generation, and tables of normal distributions. There are extensive references and a valuable index. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students; researchers/faculty; professionals.” (N. Sadanand, Choice, Vol. 54 (4), December, 2016)