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Thermodynamicsby Enrico Fermi
Synopses & Reviews
Indisputably, this is a modern classic of science. Based on a course of lectures delivered by the author at Columbia University, the text is elementary in treatment and remarkable for its clarity and organization. Although it is assumed that the reader is familiar with the fundamental facts of thermometry and calorimetry, no advanced mathematics beyond calculus is assumed.
Partial contents: thermodynamic systems, the first law of thermodynamics (application, adiabatic transformations), the second law of thermodynamics (Carnot cycle, absolute thermodynamic temperature, thermal engines), the entropy (properties of cycles, entropy of a system whose states can be represented on a (V, p) diagram, Clapeyron and Van der Waals equations), thermodynamic potentials (free energy, thermodynamic potential at constant pressure, the phase rule, thermodynamics of the reversible electric cell), gaseous reactions (chemical equilibria in gases, Van't Hoff reaction box, another proof of the equation of gaseous equilibria, principle of Le Chatelier), the thermodynamics of dilute solutions (osmotic pressure, chemical equilibria in solutions, the distribution of a solute between 2 phases vapor pressure, boiling and freezing points), the entropy constant (Nernst's theorem, thermal ionization of a gas, thermionic effect, etc.).
In this classic of modern science, the Nobel laureate presents a clear treatment of systems, the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, entropy, thermodynamic potentials, and much more. Calculus required.
In this classic of modern science, the Nobel Laureate presents a clear treatment of systems, the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, entropy, thermodynamic potentials, and much more. Calculus required.
About the Author
Enrico Fermi: Father of the Atomic Age
Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) received the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his demonstrations of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation, and for his related discovery of nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons." Just a year before winning the Nobel Prize, Fermi published Thermodynamics, based on a course of lectures at Columbia University, an enduring work which Dover first reprinted in 1956 and which has been in print continuously since then, one of the foundations of Dover's physics program.
Both a theorist and an experimentalist, Fermi packed an immense amount of science into his relatively short life, which ended prematurely as a consequence of the radiation he received working on the development of the atomic bomb. His work, of course, was not just in the realm of nuclear physics: Fermi will always be the most remembered for the events of December 2, 1942, when he and other scientists at the University of Chicago's Stagg Field produced the world's "first self-sustaining chain reaction . . . instituting the controlled release of atomic energy."
In the Author's Own Words:
"There are two possible outcomes: If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery." — Enrico Fermi
Critical Acclaim for Enrico Fermi:
"He was simply unable to let things be foggy. Since they always are, this kept him pretty active." — J. Robert Oppenheimer
Table of Contents
I. THERMODYNAMIC SYSTEMS
1. The state of a system and its transformations
2. Ideal or perfect gases
II. THE FIRST LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS
3. The statement of the first law of thermodynamics
4. "The application of the first law to systems whose states can be represented on a (V, p) diagram"
5. The application of the first law to gases
6. Adiabatic transformations of a gas
III. THE SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS
7. The statement of the second law of thermodynamics
8. The Carnot cycle
9. The absolute thermodynamic temperature
10. Thermal engines
IV. THE ENTROPY
11. Some properties of cycles
12. The entropy
13. Some further properties of the entropy
14. "The entropy of a system whose states can be represented on a (V, p) diagram"
15. The Clapeyron equation
16. The Van der Waals equation
V. THERMODYNAMIC POTENTIALS
17. The free energy
18. The thermodynamic potential at constant pressure
19. The phase rule
20. Thermodynamics of the reversible electric cells
VI. GASEOUS REACTIONS
21. Chemical equilibria in gases
22. The Van't Hoff reaction box
23. Another proof of the equation of gaseous equilibria
24. Discussion of gaseous equilibria; the principle of Le Chatelier
VII. THE THERMODYNAMICS OF DILUTE SOLUTIONS
25. Dilute solutions
26. Osmotic pressure
27. Chemical equilibria in solutions
28. The distribution of a solute between two phases
29. "The vapor pressure, the boiling point, and the freezing point of a solution"
VIII. THE ENTROPY CONSTANT
30. The Nernst theorem
31. Nernst's theorem applied to solids
32. The entropy constant of gases
33. Thermal ionization of a gas; the thermionic effect
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