The Refrigerator and the Universe: Understanding the Laws of Energy

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Harvard University Press, 1995 - 433 Seiten
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C. P. Snow once remarked that not knowing the second law of thermodynamics is like never having read Shakespeare. Yet, while many people grasp the first law of energy, "Energy can neither be created nor destroyed," few recognize the second, "Entropy can only increase." What is entropy anyway, and why must it increase? Whether we want to know how a device as simple as a refrigerator works or understand the fate of the universe, we must start with the concepts of energy and entropy.In The Refrigerator and the Universe, Martin and Inge Goldstein explain the laws of thermodynamics for science buffs and neophytes alike. They begin with a lively presentation of the historical development of thermodynamics. The authors then show how the laws follow from the atomic theory of matter and give examples of their applicability to such diverse phenomena as the radiation of light from hot bodies, the formation of diamonds from graphite, how the blood carries oxygen, and the history of the earth. The laws of energy, the Goldsteins conclude, have something to say about everything, even if they do not tell us everything about anything.

In The Refrigerator and the Universe, Martin and Inge Goldstein explain the laws of thermodynamics for science buffs and neophytes alike. They begin with a lively presentation of the historical development of thermodynamics. The authors then show how the laws follow from the atomic theory of matter and give examples of their applicability to such diverse phenomena as the radiation of light from hot bodies, the formation of diamonds from graphite, how the blood carries oxygen, and the history of the earth. The laws of energy, the Goldsteins conclude, have something to say about everything, even if they do not tell us everything about anything.

 

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Inhalt

Energy and Entropy in Everyday Terms
4
Work and Force
10
The First Law
29
The Microscopic View of Energy
67
The Second Law
105
Implications of the Second Law
141
The Molecular View of Entropy
150
Why Does Entropy Always Increase?
193
Diamonds Blood Iron
256
Muscles Kidneys Evolution
276
How Old Is the Earth?
303
Quantum Mechanics and the Third Law
318
Relativity and the Fate of the Universe
349
Afterword
389
Math Tools
393
A Note on Energy Units
408

Entropy andor Information 272
212
Radiant Energy Black Bodies and the Greenhouse Effect
229
Credits
421
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Über den Autor (1995)

Martin Goldstein, is former Professor of Chemistry at Yeshiva University.

Inge F. Goldstein is Associate Professor of Clinical Public Health in Epidemiology, Columbia University.

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