The Laws of Thermodynamics: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, Mar 25, 2010 - Science - 120 pages
4 Reviews
From the sudden expansion of a cloud of gas or the cooling of a hot metal, to the unfolding of a thought in our minds and even the course of life itself, everything is governed by the four Laws of Thermodynamics. These laws specify the nature of 'energy' and 'temperature', and are soon revealed to reach out and define the arrow of time itself: why things change and why death must come. In this Very Short Introduction Peter Atkins explains the basis and deeper implications of each law, highlighting their relevance in everyday examples. Using the minimum of mathematics, he introduces concepts such as entropy, free energy, and to the brink and beyond of the absolute zero temperature. These are not merely abstract ideas: they govern our lives. In this concise and compelling introduction Atkins paints a lucid picture of the four elegant laws that, between them, drive the Universe. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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User Review  - NielsenGW - LibraryThing

Peter Atkins’s Four Laws That Drive the Universe is a exploration of the fundamental concepts that make up the current laws of thermodynamics. There are four laws, and their purpose is to define the ... Read full review

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User Review  - hcubic - LibraryThing

This little book is a gem. I have to admit that most of the students who have completed my first physical chemistry semester, which is all about thermodynamics, would benefit from reading this ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Peter Atkins is Fellow of Lincoln College, University of Oxford. He is the author of nearly 60 books, which include the world-renowned textbook Physical Chemistry due to publish in its nineth edition). His other textbooks include Inorganic Chemistry, Chemical Principles, and Molecular Quantum Mechanics. He has also written a number of books for the general public, including Galileo's finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science, The Periodic Kingdom, and Molecules. He has been a visiting professor in France, Israel, New Zealand, and China, and continues to lecture widely throughout the world.

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