The Laws of Thermodynamics: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | April 4, 2010

byPeter Atkins

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From the sudden expansion of a cloud of gas or the cooling of a hot metal, to the unfolding of a thought in our minds and even the course of life itself, everything is governed by the four Laws of Thermodynamics. These laws specify the nature of 'energy' and 'temperature', and are soonrevealed to reach out and define the arrow of time itself: why things change and why death must come. In this Very Short Introduction Peter Atkins explains the basis and deeper implications of each law, highlighting their relevance in everyday examples. Using the minimum of mathematics, he introduces concepts such as entropy, free energy, and to the brink and beyond of the absolute zero temperature.These are not merely abstract ideas: they govern our lives. In this concise and compelling introduction Atkins paints a lucid picture of the four elegant laws that, between them, drive the Universe.

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From the Publisher

From the sudden expansion of a cloud of gas or the cooling of a hot metal, to the unfolding of a thought in our minds and even the course of life itself, everything is governed by the four Laws of Thermodynamics. These laws specify the nature of 'energy' and 'temperature', and are soonrevealed to reach out and define the arrow of time ...

Peter Atkins is Fellow of Lincoln College, University of Oxford. He is the author of nearly 60 books, which include the world-renowned textbook Physical Chemistry due to publish in its nineth edition). His other textbooks include Inorganic Chemistry, Chemical Principles, and Molecular Quantum Mechanics. He has also written a number of...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.68 inPublished:April 4, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199572194

ISBN - 13:9780199572199

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Table of Contents

Preface1. The Zeroth Law2. The First Law3. The Second Law4. The Third LawAfterword

Editorial Reviews

"[Atkins'] ultra-compact guide to thermodynamics [is] a wonderful book that I wish I had read at university." --New Scientist 20/10/2007