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Thermal Physics
Energy and Entropy


  • Date Published: February 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107465497
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About the Authors
  • Written by distinguished physics educator David Goodstein, this fresh introduction to thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and the study of matter is ideal for undergraduate courses. The textbook looks at the behavior of thermodynamic variables and examines partial derivatives - the essential language of thermodynamics. It also explores states of matter and the phase transitions between them, the ideal gas equation, and the behavior of the atmosphere. The origin and meaning of the laws of thermodynamics are then discussed, together with Carnot engines and refrigerators, and the notion of reversibility. Later chapters cover the partition function, the density of states, and energy functions, as well as more advanced topics such as the interactions between particles and equations for the states of gases of varying densities. Favoring intuitive and qualitative descriptions over exhaustive mathematical derivations, the textbook uses numerous problems and worked examples to help readers get to grips with the subject.

    • Makes the usually complex subject of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics simple and easy to understand
    • Introduces all thermodynamic functions and how they are related to microscopic quantities through statistical mechanics
    • Gives intuitive and qualitative descriptions over exhaustive mathematical derivations
    • Includes exercises and worked examples
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    Customer reviews

    08th Jan 2017 by Dan1729

    I travel a lot in my work and am always on the lookout for interesting books that I can read on the airplane. Generally, this precludes many texts on thermodynamics. However, Professor Goldstein's anti-tome, Thermal Physics, made the cut and I am glad it did. Part of the appeal of thermodynamics is that it is one of the rare truly deductive sciences. We make a few assumptions, like perpetual motion machines do not exist and atoms do, and we then deduce theorems that seem to apply to the real world. Goldstein wastes no time revealing the beauty of this approach. Within the first few pages of the book he develops the foundation on which the understanding of thermodynamics is to be built. Goldstein does, however, make one serious error relating to the experimental side of the science. The best liquid for the study of the melting of ice comes not from the moors of Scotland but from the hills of Tennessee. A significant point, considering the importance of this fluid to those engaged in scientific careers.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107465497
    • length: 176 pages
    • dimensions: 220 x 153 x 8 mm
    • weight: 0.29kg
    • contains: 44 b/w illus. 96 exercises
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The basic ideas of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics
    2. The care and feeding of thermodynamic variables
    3. Gases and other matters
    4. The laws of thermodynamics
    5. The Boltzmann factor and the density of states
    6. Thermodynamic functions
    7. Statistical mechanics for fixed and variable N
    8. More advanced topics
    9. Solutions

  • Author

    David Goodstein, California Institute of Technology
    David Goodstein is the Frank J. Gilloon Distinguished Teaching and Service Professor Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology. He has extensive research experience in condensed matter physics, and his book States of Matter (1975) was hailed as launching this important field. He directed and hosted the popular television series The Mechanical Universe, based on his lectures at Caltech.

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