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Good book on thermodynamics

  1. Jun 29, 2014 #1
    Hi everyone,

    My english is bad, so please be patient.

    I need to learn thermodynamics at an undergraduate level. I have taken courses with "heat and thermodynamics" by Zemansky, but I have found this book to be really bad, so I read Fermi's book and this is just great! But now I need another book with more problems than Fermi's book, because I am working on a guide for undergraduates who wants to learn physics and I want to learn more about this topic...so, any recommendation?

    Eduardo Bec
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 29, 2014 #2
    Smith and Van Ness, Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics

  4. Jun 30, 2014 #3


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    Thermodynamics and an Introduction to Thermostatistics by [Herbert B. Callen] is a pretty good one.

  5. Jun 30, 2014 #4
    If it is your first exposure to thermodynamics, Callen would most likely be too advanced. I don't have any introductory suggestions but if you do have prior experience, Modern Thermodynamics with Statistical Mechanics by Carl S. Helrich would be another book to look into.
  6. Jun 30, 2014 #5


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    I second Callen. It is probably the clearest, most precise, most elegant, and, along with Pippard's "Elements of Classical Thermodynamics", one of the most insightful book on thermodynamics you will find. I don't see what's "advanced" about it. It doesn't require any math beyond multivariable calculus. Sure it takes a more formal approach to thermodynamics but I find that only makes it easier to learn the concepts as things aren't obfuscated by hand-wavy arguments.
  7. Jul 3, 2014 #6


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    I like Peter Landsberg, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, Dover.
    I only had a glimpse at Callen, but from that I understand that he uses quite a deductive approach, simply postulating Entropy showing that this explains experimental observations.
    That's ok, however I prefer a more inductive approach, starting out from some formulation of the second law and then show that this leads to an entropy function.
  8. Jul 3, 2014 #7


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    It depends what perspective you want to learn thermodynamics from. Obviously, Chestermiller is giving you the thermo book that most chemical engineering students would use, but if you intend to learn it from the ''physics perspective'' or ''chemistry perspective'' or ''mechanical engineering perspective'', the reccommendation may be very different.
  9. Jul 6, 2014 #8
    Thank you all for the answers!

    Best regards.
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