Thermodynamics of the Earth and Planets

Thermodynamics of the Earth and Planets

  • Electronic book text

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This textbook provides an intuitive yet mathematically rigorous introduction to the thermodynamics and thermal physics of planetary processes. It demonstrates how the workings of planetary bodies can be understood in depth by reducing them to fundamental physics and chemistry. The book is based on two courses taught by the author for many years at the University of Georgia. It includes 'Guided Exercise' boxes; end-of-chapter problems (worked solutions provided online); and software boxes (Maple code provided online). As well as being an ideal textbook on planetary thermodynamics for advanced students in the Earth and planetary sciences, it also provides an innovative and quantitative complement to more traditional courses in geological thermodynamics, petrology, chemical oceanography and planetary science. In addition to its use as a textbook, it is also of great interest to researchers looking for a 'one stop' source of concepts and techniques that they can apply to their research problems.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 200 b/w illus. 10 tables 200 exercises
  • 1139125516
  • 9781139125512

Table of contents

1. Energy in planetary processes and the First Law of Thermodynamics; 2. Energy sources in planetary bodies; 3. Energy transfer processes in planetary bodies; 4. The Second Law of Thermodynamics and thermodynamic potentials; 5. Chemical equilibrium: using composition as a thermodynamic variable; 6. Phase equilibrium and phase diagrams; 7. Critical phase transitions; 8. Equations of state for solids and the internal structure of terrestrial planets; 9. Thermodynamics of planetary volatiles; 10. Melting in planetary bodies; 11. Dilute solutions; 12. Non-equilibrium thermodynamics and rates of natural processes; 13. Topics in atmospheric thermodynamics and radiative energy transfer; 14. Thermodynamics of life; References; Index.
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Review quote

'... a genuine tour-de-force among geochemical thermodynamics texts. It is far broader in scope and deeper in its treatment than any others, and remarkably accessible to a broad audience of geoscientists and planetary scientists, including students. I can virtually guarantee its use at my institution for teaching by myself and colleagues in mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry and even in geophysics. It is truly a remarkable effort.' Robert Tracy, Virginia Tech '... a clear and rather comprehensive account of the thermodynamic methods used to throw light on the structure, chemical constitution and dynamics of planetary bodies ... students and scientists alike will consult it as a valuable reference work and as a rich and original source of worked applications.' Pascal Richet, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris 'This is a superb publication, with many insightful explanations of planetary processes. It is very well produced in a clear type and with excellent illustrations, a detailed table of contents and a comprehensive index. James Hutton, who viewed the Earth as a heat engine 'capable of fusing together sedimentary rocks, causing upheavals in strata and creating mountains', would surely have relished this book.' Geoscientist 'The work is an ideal textbook on planetary thermodynamics for advanced students in the Earth and planetary sciences.' Claudia-Veronika Meister, Zentralblatt MATH
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