- Paperback: 396 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (March 12, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521795494
- ISBN-13: 978-0521795494
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,532,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Biological Thermodynamics 1st Edition
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"In my opinion, the author has covered a traditionally boring field with vivid description and interesting examples. My overall impression is that this book is comprehensive, illustrative and up-to-date...I would certainly recommend it to my graduate students." Professor Yigong Shi, Princeton University
"This book can be a valuable addition to the library of many students." Journal of Food Biochemistry
Biological Thermodynamics provides an introduction to the study of energy transformations for students of the biological sciences. Don Haynie uses an informal writing style to introduce this core subject in a manner which will appeal to biology and biochemistry undergraduate students and be relevant to their studies. The emphasis is on understanding basic concepts and developing problem-solving skills throughout the text, but mathematical complexity is kept to a minimum. Each chapter comprises numerous examples taken from different areas of biochemistry, as well as extensive exercises to aid understanding.
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On the plus side, the book does have some down to earth explanations of concepts like entropy and free energy. It's also good at explaining why, for example, sometimes you want to use enthalpy and other times free energy. Most thermo textbooks just rattle off various combinations of variables, state functions and partial derviative relationships, without giving you any practical feel for when you'd use one or the other. In keeping with its emphasis on clarifying basic concepts, this book avoids calculus, and actually is better for it in many places.
That said, its approach is not purely thermodynamic. Thermo is based on macroscopic phenomena, even when discussing concepts like entropy. But this book's discussion of entropy is based on the statistical mechanics point of view from the get-go (even though stat mech isn't formally introduced until much later). It is not historically correct to say that "The Second Law is about the tendency of *particles* [emphasis in the original] to go from being concentrated to being spread out in space" (@60); the particle-based conception of the law followed the the law's discovery by several decades. The author's focus on particles fits in with the book's interest in chemistry. But the macroscopic point of view can give you many insights, too. (See, e.g., DeHoff's "Thermodynamics in Materials Science" for a non-biological example; ditto, in fact, for most engineering textbooks that deal with thermo.)
The book doesn't have any self-contained hints or solutions to any of the exercises. (The author tells me that those interested in solutions should write to him or the publisher for a solution set. I appreciate this, and I hope that news benefits you if you read the book; but in future editions this would be more helpful if stated on a website or in a preface.) There are also rather more typos, awkward phrases and awkward analogies than one would like to see in a 2nd edition. E.g., @73 the description of protein denaturation mixes up "decreases" with "increases"; there are too many negative signs in Table 4.1; a reaction is described as "cooperative" @ 97, even though this term is never defined in the text, leaving one to be mystifed by the glossary entry for "cooperativity" ("the degree of 'concertedness' of a change in conformation or arrangement of particles in a system," @402). (The author tells me that he will try to correct some of these problems in the next printing.) An explantion of the First Law analogizing energy to money is kind of OK in the limited context (@6), but the analogy is generally misleading, since money is not a conserved quantity even in economics theory. The author also has a tiresome and fitful quirk of mentioning the occupations of the fathers of many, though not all, of the scientists he names in the text.
Maybe the 3rd edition of this book will become a classic, but this edition isn't quite there yet.
the basic problem with this author(and hence the book) is, it preaches a lot of theory on thermodynamics which we hardly undestand just by reading.... he gives lot of review questions and problems at the end of chapters... Heartening... so far so good... And to your utter disappointment NO ANSWERS for the problems...an author of Mr Haynies' eminence should understand a little bit of student psychology... such a complicated subject like thermodynamics has to be taught through illustrative problems(a problem with detailed solution after explaining a theoretical aspect) which is totally absent in the book. In the preface (page xiii)author boasts that he has kept some 'open ended questions" which donot have a definite answer and he claims that it is the strength of this book!!!! phew!!!!!!!!!!! If you think that it is a strength , then you should gives us the different possible answers and justify your stand. Here there is nothing!!!!!!! NO ANSWERS... only questions... This book is uselesss,,,,, teethless... Don't buy this book
This review refers to the second edition. Professor Haynie brings to Biological Thermodynamics unusual literary flair and insight with demonstrated technical expertise in physics and biology. The book is a pleasure to read. I wondered whether the first edition could succeed as anything other than a monograph, or a supplementary text at best, but now a second edition is available. When I Googled the book I learned that it has been adopted for study in mechanical engineering courses in the University of California system and for biochemistry courses in Germany and Sweden. It is also cited in an economics paper in the peer-reviewed literature. The authors of that paper may have appreciated Professor Haynie's adaption of Richard Feynman's comments on the first law of thermodynamics: instead of Dennis the Menace playing with toy blocks of energy, we have a store clerk working with pennies of energy.
I think it is fair to say that Biological Thermodynamics has helped to create a new area of emphasis in undergraduate study, one that complements the work of the Gibbs Society in biophysics research. The interdisciplinary nature of Biological Thermodynamics is very much what is needed today at the undergraduate level: a deep sense of the relatedness of formerly distinct fields in science and engineering, and many examples of how the thinking in one traditional degree program influences, informs and inspires the thinking in another. Professor Haynie is not a recognized expert in the origin of life. Nevertheless, his book raises a number of provocative questions on the subject, and he provides students with the fundamental concepts and skills needed to appreciate and evaluate different hypotheses. His book is remarkably up-to-date, with numerous examples drawn from the primary literature of the past few years, and many references and recommendations for further reading. I am delighted to recommend this book as a text for students and a refresher for professors.
I sought elsewhere, and I suggest you do too.