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Treatise on Thermodynamics (Dover Books on Physics) [Paperback]

Max Planck , Physics
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 20, 2010 048666371X 978-0486663715 Reprint
This classic by the Nobel Laureate is still recognized as one of the best introductions to thermodynamics. A model of conciseness and clarity, it covers fundamental facts and definitions, first and second fundamental principles of thermodynamics, applications to special states of equilibrium, and much more. Numerous worked examples. 1917 edition.

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Treatise on Thermodynamics (Dover Books on Physics) + Statistical Thermodynamics + Thermodynamics (Dover Books on Physics)
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Physics
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Reprint edition (May 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048666371X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486663715
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #889,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The great classic of macroscopic thermodynamics July 23, 1998
Seeing this book still in print makes me think that not all is lost. For decades everyone looked for Planck's treatise in order to give unity to his or her collection of facts concerning heat, as well as depth to the whole thing. The careful and elegant exposition still satisfies these needs, though the main trends have changed. The purity of the macroscopic approach championed by Planck (in fact a competition against Boltzmann) may seem now an exageration. You will not find interpretations in terms of molecules, for instance. On the other hand, the charm of the purely macroscopic approach is undeniable. After the introductory chapters the reader will notice an emphasis towards chemical equilibrium. This is, in fact, common to almost all thermodynamics texts of that time (Sommerfeld's , for instance) and is due to the fact that one of the main scientific efforts of that time was to try to synthesize ammonia, badly needed for agriculture and explosives (wars were much mo! re frequent then). The problem was eventually solved, for gaseous reagents, by Planck's students Guldberg and Waage and, especially, by Nernst, with the discovery of the third law of thermodynamics. This, by the way, receives a very detailed and interesting treatment in the last chapter, named The Absolute Value of Entropy. This alone would be worth the reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read from the fathers of each science November 4, 2011
It is a rare circumstance to find books which make you view things in a new way. Planck's book is one of those books. I highly recommend it. It is not necessary to read it cover to cover. Even skimming through it to find the key ideas will illuminate many things.

I have to say that many concepts dealt in this book are avoided in many contemporary books on thermodynamics. This is not coincidential of course. Thermodynamics is one of the most abstract sciences. Relatively easy to use it in applications but far more difficult to understand its foundations.

A highlight of the book is related to irreversible processes. Quoting:

p. 84 "A process which can in no way be completely reversed is termed irreversible all other processes reversible. That a process may be irreversible it is not sufficient that it cannot be directly reversed.[...] The full requirement is that it be impossible even with the assistant of all agents in nature to restore everywhere the exact initial state when the process has taken place".

p. 87 "Since the decision as to whether a particular process is irreversible or reversible depends only on whether the process can in ANY MANNER WHATSOEVER be completely reversed or not, the nature of the initial and final states, and not the intermediate steps of the process, entirely settle it. The question is whether or not it is possible starting from the final state to reach the initial one in ANY WAY without any other change."

I cannot think of any other explanation (as opposed to a "definition") more clarifying than this.
He also says that heat conduction, friction and free expansion of a gas are all irreversible and proves that if one of these processes was reversible then the other two would also be reversible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master's book May 31, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Max Planck teached Thermodynamics during 32 years and you notice that trough the well edited, clearly written, easy to understand numerical examples, near the expierience of your own senses... I realized that the examples presented by Einstein in his book: The evolution of Physics edited in 1938 were a copy of the 1897 edition in german of this book. Students of Chemical Engineering should read this book. It is necessary that the reader study Calculus... partial differential equations to better grasp the themes... This book is comparable to The Principia of Isaac Newton... both authors return more value for the dollar you spend... Both are authors that current teachers unjustly do not recommend to their students to read their books or they just mention them superficially... This book presses me to be a more serious and scientific professional... Dover did a great job making 3 editions in English of this book... the mathematical notation is clean and adequate...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Physical content February 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Physical concepts are accurate and clearly expressed. Remarkable is the presentation of energy, physical property that induced much debate among scientists.
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