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J.S. Dugdale

Entropy and its physical meaning

Entropy and its physical meaning by J.S Dugdale is a short undergraduate level textbook which explains the laws of thermodynamics, looking at their classical as well as their statistical formulation. The book inevitably contains quite a bit of mathematics, but none of it should be too taxing to an undergraduate science student. Also, the first half of book has plenty of discussion of the concepts involved, which makes the maths less of a problem (the later parts seemed more mathematical to me). The book has exercises at the end of each chapter, with solutions at the end, and would be a good choice for independent study of thermodynamics.

The book is in three parts. The first considers thermodynamics from a macroscopic viewpoint, looking at the concept of entropy and the origin of the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The second part looks at entropy from the statistical viewpoint and shows how this can be applied to various systems incluing solids and gases. Quantum effects are examined, leading to Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac gases. The third part of the book looks at low temperature systems, including the different methods of achieving such temperatures and the behaviour of Helium-4 and Helium-3. The third law of thermodynamics and the unattainability of absolute zero are also discussed.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews