Commonly Asked Questions in Thermodynamics  book cover
1st Edition

Commonly Asked Questions in Thermodynamics

ISBN 9781420086959
Published March 14, 2011 by CRC Press
368 Pages 74 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Have you ever had a question that keeps persisting and for which you cannot find a clear answer? Is the question seemingly so “simple” that the problem is glossed over in most resources, or skipped entirely?

CRC Press/Taylor and Francis is pleased to introduce Commonly Asked Questions in Thermodynamics, the first in a new series of books that address the questions that frequently arise in today’s major scientific and technical disciplines. Designed for a wide audience, from students and researchers to practicing professionals in related areas, the books are organized in a user friendly Question & Answer format. Presented questions become increasingly specific throughout the book, with clear and concise answers, as well as illustrations, diagrams, and tables are incorporated wherever helpful.

Thermodynamics is a core discipline associated with the theoretical principles and practical applications underlying almost every area of science, from nanoscale biochemical engineering to astrophysics. Highlighting chemical thermodynamics in particular, this book is written in an easy-to-understand style and provides a wealth of fundamental information, simple illustrations, and extensive references for further research and collection of specific data.

Designed for an audience that ranges from undergraduate students to scientists and engineers at the forefront of research, this indispensible guide presents clear explanations for topics with wide applicability. It reflects the fact that, very often, the most common questions are also the most profound.

Table of Contents

Definitions and the 1st Law of Thermodynamics

What Is Thermodynamics?

What Vocabulary Is Needed to Understand Thermodynamics?

What Are Intermolecular Forces and How Do We Know They Exist?

What Is Thermodynamic Energy?

What Is the 1st Law of Thermodynamics?

Questions That Serve as Examples of Work and the 1st Law of Thermodynamics?

How Are Thermophysical Properties Measured?

What Is the Difference between Uncertainty and Accuracy?

What Are Standard Quantities and How Are They Used?

What Mathematical Relationships Are Useful in Thermodynamics?


What Is Statistical Mechanics?

What Is Boltzmann’s Distribution?

How Do I Evaluate the Partition Function q?

What Can Be Calculated Using the Molecular Partition Function?

Can Statistical Mechanics Be Used to Calculate the Properties of Real Fluids?

What Are Real, Ideal, and Perfect Gases and Fluids?

What Is the Virial Equation and Why Is It Useful?

What Is the Principle of Corresponding States?

What Is Entropy S?


2nd Law of Thermodynamics

What Are the Two 2nd Laws?

What Do I Do if There Are Other Independent Variables?

What Happens When Th ere Is a Chemical Reaction?

What Am I Able to Do Knowing Law 2a?

What Am I Able to Do Knowing Law 2b?

Is Th ere a 3rd Law?

How Is the 2nd Law Connected to the Efficiency of a Heat Engine?

What Is Exergy Good For?


Phase Equilibria

What Is Phase Equilibrium of a Pure Substance?

What Is the Condition of Equilibrium between Two Phases of a Mixture of Substances?

Do I Have to Use Chemical Potentials? What Is Fugacity?

What Are Ideal Liquid Mixtures?

What Are Activity Coefficients?

How Do I Calculate Vapor + Liquid Equilibrium?

Would Practical Examples Help?

What Is the Temperature Change of Dilution?

What about Liquid + Liquid and Solid + Liquid Equilibria?

What Particular Features Do Phase Equilibria Have?

What Are Solutions?


Reactions, Electrolytes, and Nonequilibrium

What Is Chemical Equilibrium?

What Are Equilibrium Constants?

What Is Irreversible Thermodynamics?

What Are Galvanic Cells?

What Is Special about Electrolyte Solutions?

What Can Be Understood and Predicted for Systems Not at Equilibrium?

Why Does a Polished Car in the Rain Have Water Beads? (Interfacial Tension)


Power Generation, Refrigeration, and Liquefaction

What Is a Cyclic Process and Its Use?

What Are the Characteristics of Power Cycles?

What Is a Refrigeration Cycle?

What Is a Liquefaction Process?


Where Do I Find My Numbers?

What Kind of Numbers Are We Searching For?

Is the Internet a Source to Find Any Number?

How Can I Evaluate Reported Experimental Values?

How Do I Calculate Thermodynamic Properties?

How Do I Calculate Transport Properties?

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This is an extremely useful book for anybody teaching thermodynamics.
—Jan V. Sengers, Distinguished University Research Professor, Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of Maryland

This is an interesting book … should be in every engineering library [and] listed as a reference text in all engineering thermodynamics courses. A wide range of topics are covered starting with simple questions and gradually advancing to more complex questions. The answers are clear and easy to follow. The last chapter is particularly useful as a guide to where to find property values, how to use those values and how to calculate thermodynamic and transport properties.
—Ken Marsh, University of Canterbury