## Thermal physics: an introduction to thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and kinetic theoryThe amount of time devoted to thermodynamics in many undergraduate courses has been reduced in recent years as newer subjects crowd the curriculum. One possible solution is to concentrate on a microscopic, statistical approach, and present the laws of thermodynamics as a by-product of statistical mechanics. However, the macroscopic approach is valid and satisfying in its own right and represents one of the great achievements of classical physics. This introduction to thermodynamics presents both macroscopic and microscopic approaches to the subject. Reidi introduces each area separately and then examines a number of selected topics from both points of view, presenting the strengths and weaknesses of each. This text thus provides a balanced discussion of thermal physics that will form a useful basis for further studies of the properties of matter, whether from a thermodynamic or a statistical point of view. |

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### Contents

First law of thermodynamics | 9 |

Second law of thermodynamics | 37 |

Further concepts of thermodynamics | 68 |

Copyright | |

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### Common terms and phrases

absolute zero adiabatic walls atoms black body radiation Boltzmann bosons calculation canonical ensemble Carnot cycle Chapter classical limit collisions considered constant volume container critical point decrease defined density discussed in Section distribution function electrons energy levels equal equipartition theorem example Exercise expansion experimental fermions fluctuations frequency gases given by eqn helium Helmholtz free energy high temperature important independent integral interaction internal energy isothermal kinetic theory law of thermodynamics liquid low temperature macroscopic magnetic field maximum Maxwell mean energy mean free path measured microstates molecules monatomic normal number of molecules number of particles paramagnet partition function perfect gas physics pressure properties quantity quantum region result reversible adiabatic second law Show shown in Fig simple harmonic oscillator single-particle solid specific heat spin statistical mechanics surface system in thermal term thermal conductivity thermal equilibrium thermal reservoir total number transition vapour variables velocity Waals weakly coupled written