Elements of Thermodynamics

D.ter Haar, H.N.S. Wergeland, "Elements of Thermodynamics"
Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc | 1966 | ISBN: 0201074605 | 160 pages | Djvu | 2,3 mb

The present book is a theoretical text. That is, it presupposes a certain familiarity
with the experimental side of heat phenomena through a course of
general physics (German: Experimentalkolleg). Such a background seems
to us to be a highly desirable prerequisite for the study of theoretical physics.
However, for the convenience of those who want an introduction or a recapitulation
of the basic concepts, Chapters I and 2 give a survey of these.
Since the rest of the book is self-contained, many readers will be able to
bypass these two chapters or use them only for reference purposes.
Unlike other parts of theoretical physics, thermodynamics demands very
little by way of mathematical tools-only the elements of calculus. In spite
of this formal simplicity (or perhaps because of it), thermodynamics has a
veil of abstractness which must be penetrated in order to master the subject.
One way of doing this is to draw at once upon the molecular mechanical
theory of heat. This will ultimately give satisfaction. However, since molecular
theory must be inferred from macroscopic experience-and not vice
versa-the phenomenological approach to thermodynamics is followed in this
book. Once that approach is assimilated, it gives a natural starting point
from which to proceed to statistical mechanics. Occasionally we shall, of
course, refer to the mechanical nature of heat to aid comprehension, but
"proofs" on this basis are avoided.
The modern student of physics has indeed many things to learn, but he
cannot dispense with the "closed chapters" of physics, one of which is
thermodynamics. Hence it is important to get a proper account without
reading a text which is too voluminous. With this in mind we have treated
only a limited set of examples which were chosen to explain the general
We have thus abstained from entering into many important applications
such as magnetized systems and superconductors. Although examples of
this kind might have been used to elucidate the theory, it was our aim to
give the principles, rather than a manual to the diverse applications of
thermodynamics, which of necessity would be very long. It is our hope
that this book will enable the student to read the current literature on thermov
dynamics and use specialized monographs, tables, and handbooks without
We are grateful to Drs. de Boer, Cooke, Griffiths, Hemmer, Hiis-Hauge,
Kuhn, Michels, Olsen, and Trappeniers for their helpful comments, and to
Mrs. Odde and Mrs. Aasen for help in preparing the manuscript. We are
also grateful to the Oxford University Press for permission to use some
problems from Oxford University Examination papers.
Oxford, England
Trondheim, Norway




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