- Paperback: 120 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 19, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199572194
- ISBN-13: 978-0199572199
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.7 x 4.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 62 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Laws of Thermodynamics: A Very Short Introduction 1st Edition
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Review from previous edition: "It takes not only a great writer but a great scientist with a lifetime's experience to explains such a notoriously tricky area with absolute economy and precision, not to mention humour."
--Books of the Year, Observer. 30.11.08
"His engaging account...the lucid figures offer readers a firm understanding of energy and entropy."
"Concise, well-written, engaging and carefully structured... an enjoyable and informative read."
--Chemistry World 01/12/2007
"Peter Atkins's account of the core concepts of thermodynamics is beautifully crafted."
--Simon Mitton, THES 16/11/2007
"A brief and invigoratingly limpid guide to the laws of thermodynamics."
--Saturday Guardian 15/09/2007
"Atkins's systematic foundations should go a long way towards easing confusion about the subject...an engaging book, just the right length (and depth) for an absorbing, informative read."
--Mark Haw, Nature 20/09/2007
"[Atkins'] ultra-compact guide to thermodynamics [is] a wonderful book that I wish I had read at university."
--New Scientist 20/10/2007
About the Author
Peter Atkins is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Lincoln College. He is the author of nearly 60 books, which include Galileo's Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science and the famed textbook Physical Chemistry (now in its eighth edition).
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You would need no more than an average grasp of High School math and science to follow the arguments completely, and not even that if you are just seeking a flavor of what the subject is about and are willing to settle for less than a thorough understanding.
Atkins writes very well, with clarity, elegance and an infectious enthusiasm. There is certainly no lack of the latter - he describes these laws as 'a mighty handful' that drives the Universe, and claims that 'no other scientific law has contributed more to the liberation of the human spirit than the second law of Thermodynamics'. I'm not sure about that, but I do now appreciate the fundamental importance of these laws and how they are crucial to understanding how Nature works.
I would also suggest those seeking more information about the 2nd law to look into Entropy Demystified: The Second Law Reduced to Plain Common Sense.