Front cover image for The refrigerator and the universe : understanding the laws of energy

The refrigerator and the universe : understanding the laws of energy

This volume explains the laws of thermodynamics in terms that beginners might understand. The authors begin with the historical development of thermodynamics -- how attempts by engineers and natural philosophers to understand the nature of heat and how to use it efficiently in heat engines led in the 19th century to the discovery of two fundamental laws of energy. They then show how the laws follow from the atomic theory of matter and give examples of their applicability to such phenomena as the formation of diamonds, how blood carries oxygen, and the history of the universe and evolution of life. The laws of thermodynamics describe the transport of heat and work in thermodynamic processes. These laws have become some of the most important in all of physics and other types of science
Print Book, English, 1995, ©1993
1st Harvard University Press pbk. ed View all formats and editions
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1995, ©1993
viii, 433 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
9780674753259, 0674753259
Energy and entropy in everyday terms
Work and force
Heat from work: the first law
The microscopic view of energy
Engines and refrigerators: the second law
Implications of the second law
The molecular view of entropy
Why does entropy always increase?
Entropy and/or information
Radiant energy, black bodies, and the Greenhouse effect
Chemistry: diamonds, blood, iron
Biology: muscles, kidneys, evolution
Geology: how old is the earth?
Quantum mechanics and the third law
Relativity and the fate of the universe