Energy, Entropy, and the Flow of Nature

ISBN : 9780190695354

Thomas F. Sherman
256 Pages
140 x 210 mm
Pub date
Apr 2018
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Energy, Entropy, and the Flow of Nature is an attempt to present the essential principles of energetics (thermodynamics) in a manner that is straight-forward, easy to understand, and logically consistent. It arises from the difficulties author Thomas F. Sherman has seen or experienced as a student of physical chemistry, as a teacher of biochemistry and biology, and as a colleague. The central message of the book is that all natural change can be understood as a flow across a gradient, and that part of the effect of every flow is to diminish its own gradient. The book's mission is to build understanding of the central concepts, and with understanding, a degree of confidence in going forth into the many directions that the study of energy opens up. The laws of energy and entropy can indeed, in their applications, become a very complicated subject involving multivariable calculus, differential equations, and challenging problems and calculations. The fundamentals of energetics should be very straightforward, requiring relatively little mathematics--and it is the fundamentals that this book focuses on.


Preface; Introduction; Chapter 1: Origins of the Idea of Energy and its Conservation; Chapter 2: Measurement, Dimensions, and Energy; Chapter 3: The Laws of Energy; Chapter 4: Thermal Energy, Temperature, and Entropy; Chapter 5: Energy and Entropy in Heat Engines and Heat Pumps; Chapter 6: The Spreading Tendency of Nature: Brownian Motion and Diffusion; Chapter 7: Chemical Energy; Chapter 8: Biological Energy; Bibliography

About the author: 

Thomas F. Sherman is Professor Emeritus of Biology at Oberlin College. He is the author of A Place on the Glacial Till (Oxford University Press).

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