The teaching of thermodynamics has been changing in recent years in my university and in many others throughout the United States. The most important changes include the following:
The subject, formerly studied in the junior and senior years, is now taught more frequently to students in their sophomore and even freshman years, as part of core science curricula.
There is a movement away from specialized presentations. Heat-power approaches to thermodynamics are disappearing. Chemical engineering texts are meeting competition from broader, more basic texts. The universal rather than the special applicability of thermodynamics is being stressed.
The concepts of statistical and irreversible thermodynamics are recognized as being useful for enriching classical concepts, and practical for determining properties and investigating coupled flow phenomena. These concepts are therefore being made part of introductory courses.
These changes create pedagogic problems. A subtle and complex subject is being presented in greater richness to younger, intellectually less-sophisticated students. The rationale for early presentation is sound, because of the universality of the subject’s applications and the need to develop student deductive-logical skills as soon as possible. Thermodynamics can do the latter most effectively.
This book is designed with the above trends and pedagogic problem in mind. It presents a broad introduction to thermodynamic thought and methodology, and applications to many branches of engineering and science. It is unusual in a number of respects: in the simplicity and generality of its approach; in the smooth melding of narrative and mathematics; and in the stress on the conjectural- deductive nature of thermodynamics. Within the framework of a simple approach, the book achieves reasonable depth and sophistication, and treats generalized Gibbs equations, Maxwell relations, chemical potential, partition functions, reciprocal relations, etc.
The book is student-oriented, and tends to be a self-teaching text. Many exercises are strategically located throughout the text to enable the student to gage his comprehension. The exercises include derivations of basic equations, at points where the student has sufficient background to do the derivations himself, so that he may make these equations his own, rather than force them into more or less temporary residence in his memory. The stress on conjectural foundations and deductive structure heightens esthetic appreciation of thermodynamics. Students have enjoyed using this text, even in its earlier, mimeographed form.
Symbols Used in This Book
Section 1. Introduction
Section 2. Energy Conservation: the First Law of Thermodynamics
Section 3. Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Section 4. Power and Refrigeration Cycles
Section 5. Statistical Thermodynamics
Section 6. Relations Among Thermodynamic Properties
Section 7. Equations of State
Section 8. Fugacity and Activity
Section 9. Thermodynamics of Mixing and Composition Change
Section 10. Chemical Equilibrium
Section 11. Irreversible Thermodynamics
Answers to Selected Problems
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