Cover: The Refrigerator and the Universe: Understanding the Laws of Energy, from Harvard University PressCover: The Refrigerator and the Universe in PAPERBACK

The Refrigerator and the Universe

Understanding the Laws of Energy

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$48.50 • £38.95 • €43.50

ISBN 9780674753259

Publication Date: 02/24/1995

Short

446 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

2 halftones, 74 line illustrations, 19 tables

World

C. P. Snow once remarked that not knowing the second law of thermodynamics is like never having read Shakespeare. Yet, while many people grasp the first law of energy, “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed,” few recognize the second, “Entropy can only increase.” What is entropy anyway, and why must it increase? Whether we want to know how a device as simple as a refrigerator works or understand the fate of the universe, we must start with the concepts of energy and entropy.

In The Refrigerator and the Universe, Martin and Inge Goldstein explain the laws of thermodynamics for science buffs and neophytes alike. They begin with a lively presentation of the historical development of thermodynamics. The authors then show how the laws follow from the atomic theory of matter and give examples of their applicability to such diverse phenomena as the radiation of light from hot bodies, the formation of diamonds from graphite, how the blood carries oxygen, and the history of the earth. The laws of energy, the Goldsteins conclude, have something to say about everything, even if they do not tell us everything about anything.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: Why We Act: Turning Bystanders into Moral Rebels, by Catherine A. Sanderson, from Harvard University Press

Getting through a Crisis

How do we respond when a crisis occurs? And how do we know what to do? Catherine Sanderson, a renowned psychologist who has done pioneering research on social norms and the author of Why We Act: Turning Bystanders into Moral Rebels, tells us that we tend to look to each other for answers—and that’s why it’s important we model proper behavior for those around us. In October of my senior year at Stanford, I was in a

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.