The laws of thermodynamics are often mentioned in popular science books, but often this only gives a superficial view. On the other hand most readers wouldn't want to struggle with thermodynamics textbooks. The refrigerator and the universe
provides a substantial introduction to the subject but with a minimum of mathematics - any reader who knows a bit of high school maths. should have no trouble with this book. Indeed some might find the book slow going, with more than 200 pages taken to introduce the first and second laws of thermodynamics and to show the link between entropy and microscopic information. But it isn't difficult to read, so most readers will find the insight gained from this to be very worthwhile.
The last six chapters deal with some of the applications of thermodynamics in the other sciences. The chapter on chemical thermodynamics looks at questions such as why the oceans and atmosphere don't combine to form nitric acid (2H2O + 2N2 + 5O2 → 4HNO3). Other chapters look at thermodynamics in physics, biology (how our food getes transformed into motion) and geology (the cooling of the earth), and there is a chapter on the third law of thermodynamics and its links to quantum theory. The final chapter looks at the thermodynamics and cosmology leading up to the probable heat death of the universe.