1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Undergraduate book for Thermodynamics?

  1. Jun 29, 2013 #1
    I'm looking for a text which explains the subject very well, without making too many assumptions of the readers prior knowledge (this will be my first thermo course), but at the same time is not too light. Undergraduate level, but if possible, an 'intermediate' text.

    I won't really be getting the time to solve questions as of now - I will do those later, but right now I need to understand the subject as well as I can. Emphasis on derivations and explanations.

    I'm looking at Thermodynamics by Fermi - does it fit my criteria? What about the book by Zemansky and Dittman?

    Some of the topics I'll be studying are : Zeroth & First Law of Thermo, Second Law, Entrophy, Thermo Potentials, Maxwell's Thermo Relations, Distribution of Velocities, Molecular Collisions, Real Gases. Please feel free to ask what about these topics I want to study if you need to.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2013 #2
    Any help?
  4. Jul 2, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Hi dreamlord,

    Like you, I too am trying to get to grips with the subject. I checked out the book that my university uses for the course on Thermodynamics (Finn Thermal Physics) and went to the library to get this. While I was there, I took a look at others and decided to look into Concepts of Thermal Physics by Blundell and Blundell. I have been more or less following Finn, and using Blundell and Blundell if I feel I wanted to clarify anything. The approaches taken by the two books are different, however,with B and B defining heat in chp 1, while Finn waits until chp 3.
  5. Jul 2, 2013 #4
    ^ Unfortunately, neither Finn nor Blundell & Blundell is printed locally in my country. I have an option of importing them, but it's going to be too expensive for my liking. Thanks for the suggestion though.
  6. Jul 2, 2013 #5


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

  7. Jul 2, 2013 #6
    Schroeder, Thermal physics is very good.
  8. Jul 2, 2013 #7
    @verty : Same issue. Book isn't printed in my country. Importing is an option, but I only want to do that if absolutely necessary.

    @Jorriss : Yes, I considered it as well. If I had to get one out of Fermi, Zemansky and Schroder, which one would you pick?
  9. Jul 3, 2013 #8


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    If you had to get one of those, Jorriss would not be picking at all.

    Pick the one you think will suit you best. There is no right choice (by which I mean, surely each of those books has its merits).
  10. Jul 5, 2013 #9
    Considering I've never read those books, how do I know which one suits me best? Isn't that the whole point of me listing my requirements here and getting advice? All I'm asking for is which one suits my requirements the most.
  11. Sep 18, 2015 #10

    I've got the Schroeder book. Overall I like it, but it has some flaws in my opinion. It is short on worked examples and if you're doing self study I don't believe there are any solutions manuals available at this time. It's a good book in that it gives an intro to statistical mechanics but I did not like it's manner of defining enthalpy and some other important concepts. You may consider starting with the Fermi book to get a good basis in concepts then jump to the Schroeder book to move up to the next level. The Fermi book is quite cheap and should give you some good basics as long as you keep in mind the symbol convention is different now. If you simply start with the Schroeder book you'll likely be fine. Maybe his way of defining things will be fine for you - a lot of this is personal style after all.

    Best of luck! :D
  12. Sep 19, 2015 #11
    Look for Ira Levine's book on physical chemistry, its quite good and the first chunk of it is on thermodynamics. I don't recommend Peter Atkins as many would probably do.

    Also I don't think Fermi's book is a book you'd read for a class on thermodynamics. But I would read it as a supplement as I think its insightful, well written and concise.
  13. Sep 20, 2015 #12


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    His post is more than two years old, and according to his profile he has not been "seen" here since June 2014. I rather doubt he is still looking for a thermodynamics textbook.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted