Show Book List

Buy from Amazon

J Wilks

The third law of thermodynamics

The Third Law was written almost fifty years ago, and a lot has happened in low temperature science since that time. However, I feel that this book is not just of historical interest. Certainly if your aim is to find out about to the 3rd law of thermodynamics, then this book is still a useful resource. Since it is devoted to one subject it is quicker to read than a more general thermodynamics textbook. Naturally it has quite a bit of mathematics - at the level of an undergrauate science student, but I felt that this isn't too overwhelming and that there's plenty of non-mathematical discussion.

From the start the book takes the point of view of statistical rather than classical thermodynamics. Wilks looks at statistical approaches to the 2nd law, considering for example how the number of degrees of freedom of a system relates to its thermodynamical properties, and then goes on to show how these approaches may also be applied to the 3rd law. There is plenty of material on low temperature thermodynamics, exploring concepts such as frozen-in disorder, the thermodynamics of chemical reactions, and the behaviour of the different isotopes of helium. The book concludes with a chapter explaining the unattainability of absolute zero.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews