An inverted textbook on thermodynamics: Part I

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39 pages
A series of problems in thermodynamics, with very extensive solutions, at the level of a first undergraduate course in the subject.
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Über den Autor

Graeme Ackland is Professor of Computer Simulation at the University of Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Institute of Physics, and a former Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at Princeton. He has taught undergraduate physics for over 25 years, including Thermodynamics...


Thermodynamics involves a small number of postulates, but application of these to solve problems involves some subtle manipulation of partial differentials. Often, even when the solution has been obtained, the connection with physical reality can be lost. This book is complementary to standard thermodynamics textbooks. Its main purpose is to present extensive solutions and explanations to a series of thermodynamics problems. This will enable the student to learn by doing. The material covered includes the Laws of Thermodynamics, the principles and definitions of heat and free energy, and applications to heat engines, properties of materials and phase diagrams.

  1. Some properties of materials
  2. Temperature scales, work, equations of state
  3. Work and heat, the First Law
  4. Cycles and the Second Law
  5. Entropy
  6. Thermodynamic Potentials
  7. Expansion Processes
  8. Thermodynamics in other systems
  9. Phase transitions
  10. Chemical Potential
  11. The Essential Mathematics