ReseñaThe sophistication of modern tools used in the study of statistical mechanics and field theory is often an obstacle to the easy understanding of new important current results reported in journals. The main purpose of this book is to introduce the reader to the methods of the fluctuation (field) theory of phase transitions and critical phenomena so as to provide a good source for research. The introductory contents are concerned with ideas of description, thermodynamic stability theory related to phase transitions, major experimental facts, basic models and their relationships. Special attention is paid to the mean field approximation and to the Landau expansion for simple and complex models of critical and multicritical phenomena. An instructive representation of the modern perturbation theory and the method of the renormalization group is developed for field models of phase transitions. The essential influence of the fluctuations on the critical behaviour is established together with the theory of correlation functions, Gaussian approximation, the Ginzburg criterion, ¿- and 1/n- expansions as practical realizations of the renormalization group ideas. Applications of the theory to concrete aspects of condensed matter physics are considered: quantum effects, Bose condensation, crystal anisotropy, superconductors and liquid crystals, effects of disorder of type randomly distributed quenched impurities and random fields. This volume can be used as an advanced University course book for students with a basic knowledge of statistical physics and quantum mechanics. It could be considered as a complementary text to a standard University course on statistical physics.