The Statistical Mechanics of Financial Markets

  • Johannes Voit

Part of the Texts and Monographs in Physics book series (TMP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XIV
  2. Johannes Voit
    Pages 1-11
  3. Johannes Voit
    Pages 13-24
  4. Johannes Voit
    Pages 25-48
  5. Johannes Voit
    Pages 85-152
  6. Johannes Voit
    Pages 153-176
  7. Johannes Voit
    Pages 209-245
  8. Johannes Voit
    Pages 247-270
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 271-290

About this book


From the reviews of the first edition -
"Provides an excellent introduction for physicists interested in the statistical properties of financial markets. Appropriately early in the book the basic financial terms such as shorts, limit orders, puts, calls, and other terms are clearly defined. Examples, often with graphs, augment the reader’s understanding of what may be a plethora of new terms and ideas… [This is] an excellent starting point for the physicist interested in the subject. Some of the book’s strongest features are its careful definitions, its detailed examples, and the connection it establishes to physical systems."

"This book is excellent at illustrating the similarities of financial markets with other non-equilibrium physical systems. [...] In summary, a very good book that offers more than just qualitative comparisons of physics and finance." (

This highly-praised introductory treatment describes parallels between statistical physics and finance - both those established in the 100-year-long interaction between these disciplines, as well as new research results on capital markets.

The random walk, well known in physics, is also the basic model in finance, upon which are built, for example, the Black-Scholes theory of option pricing and hedging, or methods of risk control using diversification. Here the underlying assumptions are discussed using empirical financial data and analogies to physical models such as fluid flows, turbulence, or superdiffusion. On this basis, new theories of derivative pricing and risk control can be formulated. Computer simulations of interacting agent models of financial markets provide insights into the origins of asset price fluctuations. Stock exchange crashes can be modelled in ways analogous to phase transitions and earthquakes. These models allow for predictions.

This new study edition has been updated with a presentation of several new and significant developments, e.g. the dynamics of volatility smiles and implied volatility surfaces, path integral approaches to option pricing, a new and accurate simulation scheme for options, multifractals, the application of nonextensive statistical mechanics to financial markets, and the minority game.


Capital Markets Financial Data Random Walks Turbulence dynamics simulations statistical physics volatility

Authors and affiliations

  • Johannes Voit
    • 1
  1. 1.Deutscher Sparkassen- und GiroverbandBonnGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-00978-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-662-05125-2
  • Series Print ISSN 1864-5879
  • Series Online ISSN 1864-5887
  • Buy this book on publisher's site