- File Size: 2887 KB
- Print Length: 128 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications; Dover ed edition (June 8, 2012)
- Publication Date: May 11, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008TVLX1C
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,390 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Understanding Thermodynamics (Dover Books on Physics) Dover ed Edition, Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
H. C. Van Ness, a professor of chemical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and expert in thermodynamics, approaches his subject in an uniquely interesting fashion, stressing that the First and Second Law are assumptions based on empirical data. They are fundamental statements that cannot be derived from other principles.
In chapter 1 Van Ness borrows a humorous analogy from Feynman to explain the reasonableness of the abstract concept of internal energy and the relationship between internal energy, heat, and work.
Chapter 2 introduces the concept of reversibility, and explains its fundamental importance to thermodynamics. In doing so he carefully exposes our underlying assumptions.
In chapter 3, titled Heat Engines, Van Ness emphasizes that the reversible process represents the limiting behavior of actual systems, the best that we can hope for. Also, in most cases we are not even able to make calculations unless we simplify our problem by assuming that our system exhibits reversibility. Van Ness carefully explains the basic engineering calculations for both the Otto engine cycle and the Carnot theoretical heat engine.
In chapter 4 Van Ness guides the reader carefully through detailed thermodynamic analysis of a large scale power plant. In doing so, he provides an intriguing look at the unintended and unavoidable environmental impact of large power plants.
Van Ness introduces the Second Law of Thermodynamics by asking whether we can uncover any hidden relationships in a set of empirical data for reversible heat processes. After being led down several blind alleys, we unexpectedly discover a quantity that seems even more abstract than the concept of internal energy. We decide to call it entropy.
The last two chapters - More on the Second Law, and Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics - were slightly more difficult. The section on statistical mechanics would normally be found in a physical chemistry textbook.
The chapters are written in an informal manner, much like lectures. The mathematics assumes some calculus, but it is not any more difficult a first year physics text. It makes good independent reading, but Van Ness intended for Understanding Thermodynamics to be used along with a standard engineering or physics text. No problems sets are found at the end of the chapters.
I would highly recommend this book (or dealer for that matter).