Principles of Thermodynamics by Jean and Brechet
Principles of Thermodynamics by Jean and Brechet

Principles of Thermodynamics Contents
Part I Foundations

  1. Thermodynamic System and First Law
  2. Entropy and Second Law
  3. Thermodynamics of Subsystems
  4. Thermodynamic Potentials

Part II Phenomenology

  1. Calorimetry
  2. Phase Transitions
  3. Heat Engines
  4. Chemistry and Electrochemistry

Part III Continuous Media

  1. Matter and Electromagnetic Fields
  2. Thermodynamics of Continuous Media
  3. Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes

Part IV Exercises and Solutions

  1. Thermodynamic System and First Law
  2. Entropy and Second Law
  3. Thermodynamics of Subsystems
  4. Thermodynamic Potentials
  5. Calorimetry
  6. Phase Transitions
  7. Heat Engines
  8. Chemistry and Electrochemistry
  9. Matter and Electromagnetic Fields
  10. Thermodynamics of Continuous Media
  11. Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes

Thermodynamics is a theory that establishes the relationship between the physical quantities that characterize the macroscopic properties of a system. In this textbook, thermodynamics is presented as a physical theory which is based upon two fundamental laws pertaining to energy and entropy, which can be applied to many different systems in chemistry and physics, including transport phenomena.

By asserting that energy and entropy are state functions, we eliminate the need to master the physical significance of differentials.

Thus, thermodynamics becomes accessible to anyone with an elementary mathematical background.

As the notion of entropy is introduced early on, it is readily possible to analyse out-of-equilibrium processes taking place in systems composed of simple blocks.

Students engaging with thermodynamics have the opportunity to discover a broad range of phenomena. However, they are faced with a challenge.

Unlike Newtonian mechanics where forces are the cause of acceleration, the mathematical formalism of thermodynamics does not present an explicit link between cause and effect.

Nowadays, it is customary to introduce temperature by referring to molecular agitation and entropy by invoking Boltzmann’s formula. However, in this book, the intrusion of notions of statistical physics is deliberately avoided.

It is important to start off by teaching students the meaning of a physical theory and to show them clearly the very large preliminary conceptual work that establishes the notions and presuppositions of this theory.

Punctual references to notions of statistical physics, which are not formally presented, give the impression that in science the results from another theoretical body of knowledge can be borrowed without precaution.

By doing so, students might not perceive thermodynamics as a genuinely scientific approach. It is clear that the introduction of entropy with a mathematical formula is somewhat reassuring. However, it is by performing calculations of entropy changes in simple thermal processes that students become familiar with this notion and not by contemplating a formula that is not used in the framework of thermodynamics.

This book is broken up into four parts. The first part of the book gathers the formal tools of thermodynamics, such as the thermodynamic potentials and Maxwell relations.

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