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C.J. Adkins

Equilibrium thermodynamics

Thermodynamics was originally a macroscopic theory with the microscopic explanation coming later. In 'Equilibrium Thermodynamics' C.J. Adkins presents the subject from the macroscopic point of view. (Philosophically one might want to do this to separate out the two viewpoints, but that isn't really a motivation for this book) His idea is that this is the best way to introduce the subject to the student. I can't say that I agree with that, but it does mean that he can pack a large amount of material into a small book, so if your main interest is in the applications of thermodynamics then you may find this book worth studying.

After a few chapters introducing the first and second laws of thermodynamics, Adkins starts looking at the applications of the subject, such as the behaviour of gases, the thermodynamics of electric cells, and piezoelectricity. There are also chapters looking at irreversible changes and at phase changes. There is plenty of material on low temperature thermodynamics, including the third law.

A book like this is bound to be mathematical, but it doesn't get too abstract and should present few problems to a science undergraduate. There are also plenty of diagrams to assist in understanding.

Product Description
Equilibrium Thermodynamics gives a comprehensive but concise course in the fundamentals of classical thermodynamics. Although the subject is essentially classical in nature, illustrative material is drawn widely from modern physics and free use is made of microscopic ideas to illuminate it. The overriding objective in writing the book was to achieve a clear exposition: to give an account of the subject that it both stimulating and easy to learn from. Classical thermodynamics has such wide application that it can be taught in many ways. The terms of reference for Equilibrium Thermodynamics are primarily those of the undergraduate physicist; but it is also suitable for courses in chemistry, engineering, materials science etc. The subject is usually taught in the first or second year of an undergraduate course, but the book takes the student to degree standard (and beyond). Prerequisites are elementary or school-level thermal physics.