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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dynamic introduction
Peter Atkins promises at the outset that this will not be a light read, and it isn't, at least not if you want to really take it all in and much of it is new to you. Gibbs energy and Helmholtz energy are discussed, as are negative (below absolute zero) temperatures. For a very short introduction to the subject, it goes into considerable depth.

You would need no...
Published on 21 Oct 2010 by Peter Reeve

versus
6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a dangerous little book
Having a large number of thermodynamics books already, I was moved to buy this one because of a comment in one of the reviews; a comment relating to negative temperatures which I did not believe would reflect the content of the book. When I received the book, I found, to my horror, that the review was correct and the author did refer to negative temperatures as being...
Published 15 months ago by J. Dunning-Davies


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dynamic introduction, 21 Oct 2010
By 
Peter Reeve (Thousand Oaks, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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Peter Atkins promises at the outset that this will not be a light read, and it isn't, at least not if you want to really take it all in and much of it is new to you. Gibbs energy and Helmholtz energy are discussed, as are negative (below absolute zero) temperatures. For a very short introduction to the subject, it goes into considerable depth.

You would need no more than an average grasp of High School maths and science to follow the arguments completely, and not even that if you are just seeking a flavour of what the subject is about and are willing to settle for less than a thorough understanding.

Atkins writes very well, with clarity, elegance and an infectious enthusiasm. There is certainly no lack of the latter - he describes these laws as 'a mighty handful' that drive the Universe, and claims that 'no other scientific law has contributed more to the liberation of the human spirit than the second law of Thermodynamics'. I'm not sure about that, but I do now appreciate the fundamental importance of these laws and how they are crucial to understanding how Nature works.
[PeterReeve]
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From an A level Teacher, 18 Nov 2010
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One of the difficulties in teaching A level is that the text books tend to be curriculum specific. This means the basic concepts are often stirred in with various calculations and practical investigations.
If you are to teach any subject you need to nail the basic concepts and theory first and that's what these very short introductions (VSIs) do very well. I am currently working through thermodynamics as I will be teaching this again soon and it is not a favourite subject however the VSI has helped clarify key points and has given some useful analogies that will be used in the classroom.
These should be in the school library and listed as recommended reading for all A level physics students and teachers old and new.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great content, small fonts, 11 Oct 2012
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As other reviewers mentioned before me, this book is a great introduction to thermodynamics. I bought it because I was taught thermodynamics at university mostly like a tool for engineers, and I wanted to have another quick exposure from a more fundamental point of view. This book really met my expectations! Therefore, its content deserves a 5 stars.

The only problem is the fonts used in the book: that are quiet small. Thus reading the book is tiring for the eyes.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Popularisation of a Subject at the Core of Science, 22 April 2010
I'm sure this is an excellent read.
However, it's pretty much a direct reprint of the same author's work Four Laws That Drive the Universe. If you've already read that book, then don't bother to buy this, the same book under a different title.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is sweet, 7 April 2012
When I first bought this book I was I little worried I wouldn't be able to understand it because I'm only 16 but if you interested in thermodynamics and don't mind go other the chapter you just read again to fully understand it then I would highly recommend this book it's fantastic
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 July 2014
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Informative and useful
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5.0 out of 5 stars short and precise, 21 May 2014
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if ever wanted to learn about the laws of thermodynamics bit wondering how to bypass all that cryptic mathematics, try a very short introduction by peter atkins.
good read!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 22 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Laws of Thermodynamics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Kindle Edition)
Good book, well explained considering difficult subject matter. It did make my brain hurt in parts but hey - that's thermodynamics! Would recommend this book if you only have basic knowledge of subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The laws of Thermodynamics book, 7 Nov 2013
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Still reading the book. Thermodynamics is a subject that most people just like to skip over as they think too much about the complexity of the subject. This book gives you a simple yet detailed summary of all you need to know in thermodynamics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly thorough, 22 Sep 2013
By 
Matthew Leitch (Epsom, Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Laws of Thermodynamics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Kindle Edition)
This was a surprisingly deep read, considering it is supposed to be a 'very short introduction' so I was pleasantly surprised. I would have liked to see a more critical analysis of entropy and I'm still looking for someone to write in detail about why 'energy' is not the capacity to do work.
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