Four Laws That Drive the Universe (Very Short Introductions #226)
The laws of thermodynamics drive everything that happens in the universe. From the sudden expansion of a cloud of gas to the cooling of hot metal, and from the unfurling of a leaf to the course of life itselfeverything is moved or restrained by four simple laws. They establish fundamental concepts such as temperature and heat, and reveal the arrow of time and even the natu...more
Very nice little book, with little mathematical content but conceptually very precise and rigorous, and without oversimplifications. Unfortunately, it deals only very succinctly with statistical thermodynamics.
Simple, very easy, introductory-level, quick refresher of the basics of thermodynamics. Nicely written and a pleasure to read.
“The Laws of Thermodynamics" is a very solid and practical book that covers the core concepts of thermodynamics. Accomplished author of many science books and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, does the wonderful A Very Short Introduction series justice by providing readers with an accessible account of the four laws of thermodynamics. This well-written 144 page-book is composed of the following five chapter ...more
The laws of thermodynamics drive everything that happens in the universe. From the sudden expansion of a cloud of gas to the cooling of hot metal--everything is moved or restrained by four simple laws. Written by Peter Atkins, one of the world's leading authorities on thermodynamics, this powerful and compact introduction explains what these four laws are and how they work, using accessible language and virtually no mathematics. Guiding the read ...more
List of illustrations
1. The zeroth law: The concept of temperature
– Introducing equilibrium
– The molecular world
– A word of summary
2. The first law: The conservation of energy
– Path independence
– Heat as energy in transition
– Heat and work: a molecular view
– Introducing reversibility
– Introducing enthalpy
– Heat capacity
– Energy and the uniformity of time
3. The second law: The increase in entropy
– Heat engines
– The definition of absolute temperature
– In ...more
4 laws (0 to 3). Temperature, energy, entropy and absolute zero
Developed during the steam engine age, when scientists weren't sure the atom was real.
Chapter 1: The zeroth law
Temperature. System and surroundings. Open, closed and isolated systems. Pressure and mechanical equilibrium. Temperature and thermal equilibrium. Classical thermodynamics. Statistical thermodynamics. Beta is inversely proportional to energy. K is Boltzmann constant.
K * Beta = 1 / T
Beta would ...more
I will recommend this book to anyone interested in the four laws of our universe and the physical laws that affect our every day lives here on earth. I have read about the topic of this book by other authors but this author has made the subject readable and interesting. My favorite law is the LAW of entropy which we can't escape from. I keep imagining that most if not all the secrets of the cosmos can be explained by the four laws. This book is great readi ...more
With that said a few minor gripes:
1. I don't recall the arrow of time ever being mentioned - you'd think that would be worth getting across to a reader, concerning the Second Law.
2. Given the book is aimed at the layman, there is probably a little too much mathematics in here.
It's 100 pages and provides a near comprehensive i ...more
Pretty much of what we experience can be described by thermodynamic laws, and ignoring them may derail us into bad conclusions about the nature of the world. Just as we can't expect engines to produce more energy that we feed in, and that order can come into being only at the expense of an increase in the overall disorder, we cannot dedicate our mental en ...more
The book covers the four laws of thermodynamics (Zeroth: the concept of temperature, First: the conservation of energy, Second: the increase in entropy, and Third: the unattainability of zero temperature). The concept of f ...more
Now, I wouldn't say it fans the flames of any controversy, but it did light a fire under me. Sparked thought. Set me off. Some chapters practically had me in a sweat. Nearly too hot for me to handle.
All too soon, it died down. Yep--I fairly burned right through this slim little volume as soon ...more
I had taken two semesters of ...more
I thought I basically understood these laws and their consiquences, how wrong was I ?
They are deeper and more interesting than I thought, just like reletivity laws, explaining such phenomenon as why abs ...more
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