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Theory of Heat (Classic Reprint) Paperback – 19 May 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Forgotten Books (19 May 2012)
  • ASIN: B00878C04G
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 292,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Published in 1871, this masterly account of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics derived the 'Maxwell relations', which still feature in every standard thermodynamics text. The book also introduced the famous and controversial idea soon to be known as Maxwell's 'demon', which seemed to contradict the second law of thermodynamics. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

James Clerk Maxwell: In His Own Words — And Others Dover reprinted Maxwell's Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism in 1954, surely one of the first classics of scientific literature over a thousand pages in length to be given new life and accessibility to students and researchers as a result of the paperback revolution of the 1950s. Matter and Motion followed in 1991 and Theory of Heat in 2001. Some towering figures in science have to speak for themselves. Such is James Clerk Maxwell (1813–1879), the Scottish physicist and mathematician who formulated the basic equations of classical electromagnetic theory. In the Author's Own Words: "We may find illustrations of the highest doctrines of science in games and gymnastics, in traveling by land and by water, in storms of the air and of the sea, and wherever there is matter in motion." "The 2nd law of thermodynamics has the same degree of truth as the statement that if you throw a tumblerful of water into the sea, you cannot get the same tumblerful of water out again." — James Clerk Maxwell Critical Acclaim for James Clerk Maxwell: "From a long view of the history of mankind — seen from, say, ten thousand years from now — there can be little doubt that the most significant event of the 19th century will be judged as Maxwell's discovery of the laws of electrodynamics. The American Civil War will pale into provincial insignificance in comparison with this important scientific event of the same decade." — Richard P. Feynman "Maxwell's equations have had a greater impact on human history than any ten presidents." — Carl Sagan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Mr. J. Cliffe on 15 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a classic explanation that can still hardly be bettered . Maxwell was up among the greats in physics, Newton and Einstein
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This is an awesome book! 4 Aug. 2006
By S. Stokes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Maxwell does a great job of explaining thermodynamics in a manner that is clear to anyone with a term of physics. This was written at a time when people took the time to show all of the steps.

Maxwell is one of the brightest stars of the physics universe and everything we do in our current culture is based on his work.
This is a great book which enlightens and yes it entertains. 20 Feb. 2015
By kikeo58 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book reminds me of what is best about Science. James Clerk Maxwell has a genuine love of the topic. The book
is a monogram from over 100 years ago, thus the material is dated and even wrong in some areas. (We did learn something after all.)
But, Maxwell approaches every subject as though it was special and worthy of the utmost interest.
The book has a delight on every page. These were the days when Science was wonderful and experiments that you could actually do
told you something useful. I find myself laughing and running to share some tidbit with a colleague.
They too are fascinated even though we all had this material many years ago.
Most authors today hurry from one equation to another with very little understanding of what it actually means.
Maxwell cares not a fig about the equations. He wants to talk about what it means! He jumps from anecdote to
anecdote relating common sense ideas behind every subject in the realm of thermal science.

For example, he introduces the concept of radiation by talking about focusing light on air bubbles in a large ice block.
The bubbles heat up and a crystal star is formed without melting the ice along the path of the light. You can tell that
Maxwell is delighted and you get the idea immediately. Max Planck borrowed the story for his own book on Thermodynamics.
This is just one of the many anecdotes in the book that illustrate
the topic. He even shares some of his frustration about the instruments available to him in the nineteenth century.
I found it charming that he even suggests sending your thermometers to Kew to have them calibrated.

That does not mean that he is careless. Maxwell spends many paragraphs trying to be clear about the subject.
He carefully distinguishes between what is heat and what is a countable number related to the measure of heat.
That care is sadly missed today. He relates why glass thermometers lose their precision over time, the glass
contracts as it cools over months and even years.

I could go on and on. But read it yourself. He wrote it on a level that any high school student could comprehend.
It is a great book from a fun man who is devoted to teaching. You may even learn something. I did.
Five Stars 13 Dec. 2014
By Luis A. Gonzalez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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