Book ID: CBB026567108

Thermodynamic Weirdness: From Fahrenheit to Clausius (2019)


Lemons, Don S. (Author)

The MIT Press

Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 192 pp.
Language: English

An account of the concepts and intellectual structure of classical thermodynamics that reveals the subject's simplicity and coherence. Students of physics, chemistry, and engineering are taught classical thermodynamics through its methods―a “problems first” approach that neglects the subject's concepts and intellectual structure. In Thermodynamic Weirdness, Don Lemons fills this gap, offering a nonmathematical account of the ideas of classical thermodynamics in all its non-Newtonian “weirdness.” By emphasizing the ideas and their relationship to one another, Lemons reveals the simplicity and coherence of classical thermodynamics. Lemons presents concepts in an order that is both chronological and logical, mapping the rise and fall of ideas in such a way that the ideas that were abandoned illuminate the ideas that took their place. Selections from primary sources, including writings by Daniel Fahrenheit, Antoine Lavoisier, James Joule, and others, appear at the end of most chapters. Lemons covers the invention of temperature; heat as a form of motion or as a material fluid; Carnot's analysis of heat engines; William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) and his two definitions of absolute temperature; and energy as the mechanical equivalent of heat. He explains early versions of the first and second laws of thermodynamics; entropy and the law of entropy non-decrease; the differing views of Lord Kelvin and Rudolf Clausius on the fate of the universe; the zeroth and third laws of thermodynamics; and Einstein's assessment of classical thermodynamics as “the only physical theory of universal content which I am convinced will never be overthrown.”

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Authors & Contributors
Pellegrino, Emilio Marco
McCormmach, Russell
Navarrho, Luis
Montserrat, Jesús M.
Clausius, Rudolf Julius Emmanuel
Yagi, Eri
Foundations of Science
Foundations of Chemistry
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
International Pub. Institute
Greenwood Press
MIT Press
Pavia University Press
Theories of heat
Energy (physics)
Clausius, Rudolf Julius Emmanuel
Joule, James Prescott
Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent
Kelvin, William Thomson, Baron
Fuchs, Klaus
Cavendish, Henry
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century, early
20th century
Great Britain
United States

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