Classes in thermodynamics do not belong to the students' favourite ones. Inappropriately lectured, thermodynamics is usually associated with a set of facts loosely related to each other. A new textbook on thermodynamics, written by two professors from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, transmits the most important ideas of thermodynamics in an unsophisticated way presenting it as a field of science with consistent, logical and clear structure.
Lectures in thermodynamics belong to a canon of classes both in university faculties of physics, chemistry and biology, and in engineering studies. Most textbooks on thermodynamics do not take care of mathematical exactness. As a result, students usually associate thermodynamics with a set of observations and concepts that are not related to each other. A new textbook on thermodynamics written by Professors Robert Hołyst and Andrzej Poniewierski from the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS), combines mathematical exactness, so priced by physicists and engineers, with plenty of examples highly valued by chemists and biologists.
"In the thermodynamics course proposed in the book we do our best to appeal first of all to the readers' intuition that is based on observations of the daily life phenomena. In a possibly simple way we try to transmit the most important ideas that subsequently can be much easier combined with exact, yet somewhat abstract mathematical formulae. Such a method of presenting problems in thermodynamics, supplemented with numerous examples and exercises, is based on many years' experience in lecturing the subject", says Prof. Poniewierski.
Thermodynamics is so commonly used in many areas, because it is extremely practical. In the times of alchemy only one method for speeding up reactions was known: heating up. Without thermodynamics the alchemists did not know that many reactions could be signi
|Contact: Robert Holyst|
Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences