Four Laws That Drive the Universe: A Very Short Introduction
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Four Laws That Drive the Universe: A Very Short Introduction

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Description

The laws of thermodynamics drive everything that happens in the universe. From the sudden expansion of a cloud of gas to the cooling of hot metal, and from the unfurling of a leaf to the course of life itself - everything is directed and constrained by four simple laws. They establish fundamental concepts such as temperature and heat, and reveal the arrow of time and even the nature of energy itself. Peter Atkins' powerful and compelling introduction explains what the laws are and how they work, using accessible language and virtually no mathematics. Guiding the reader from the Zeroth Law to the Third Law, he introduces the fascinating concept of entropy, and how it not only explains why your desk tends to get messier, but also how its unstoppable rise constitutes the engine of the universe.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 144 pages
  • 132 x 196 x 20mm | 258.55g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 8 line drawings
  • 0199232369
  • 9780199232369
  • 99,990

About Peter Atkins

Peter Atkins is the author of about 70 books, including the world-renowned and widely used Physical Chemistry, now in its 10th edition. He won the Grady-Stack award for science journalism in 2016. After graduating from the University of Leicester and a post-doctoral year in the University of California, Los Angeles, he returned to Oxford in 1965 as Fellow of Lincoln College and University Lecturer (later Professor) in physical chemistry. He retired in 2007, but continues to write and lecture worldwide.show more

Review quote

His engaging account...the lucid figures offer readers a firm understanding of energy and entropy. Science Concise, well-written, engaging and carefully structured... an enjoyable and informative read. Chemistry World Peter Atkins's account of the core concepts of thermodynamics is beautifully crafted. Simon Mitton, THES A brief and invigoratingly limpid guide to the laws of thermodynamics. Saturday Guardian 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 [Atkins'] ultra-compact guide to thermodynamics [is] a wonderful book that I wish I had read at university. New Scientistshow more

Table of contents

Prologue ; 1. THE ZEROTH LAW: the concept of temperature ; 2. THE FIRST LAW: the conservation of energy ; 3. THE SECOND LAW: the increase in entropy ; 4. FREE ENERGY: the availability of work ; 5. THE THIRD LAW: the unattainability of zero ; Conclusionshow more