Good thermodynamics text book

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Good thermodynamics text book

Postby chumonster » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:12 pm


I am going to graduate next year and have started preparing for the Physics GRE. I haven't had a course in Thermodynamics yet. I was wondering if somebody could recommend a good thermodynamics book.


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Postby Bufalay » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:48 pm

I can tell you that the Baierlein book is terrible. You most likely want a book that covers both thermodynamics as well as stat mech. My professor recommended Statistical Physics by Mandl as a quality book, so you might want to look at that.

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Postby jormiga » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:59 am

I strongly recommend you to read Charles Kittel's Thermal Physics, it is almost specially designed for the Physics GRE. The Enrico Fermi book (published by Dover) is also pretty nice, in particular for the price! :D

Good luck!

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Postby yosofun » Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:50 pm

Kittel is ok. But, for brevity and just about the same depth as that required by the gre test, Carter's better. See this post on GREPhysics.NET for more books: ... 4#comments

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Postby chumonster » Sat Apr 01, 2006 8:56 pm

Thanks guys!

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Postby Relativist » Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:14 am

What about Stowe? I used it as an undergrad and it seems to fit the GRE also. Any other opinions on this? I have not really looked at any others, but would do so if someone thinks the others are significantly better than Stowe for preparing for the GRE.

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Postby Relativist » Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:52 pm

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good cheap slim dover books

Postby paradox » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:19 pm

**Disclosure: I've never taken a Thermodynamics class either. Although, I own both of the books below and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone. With this said, the reviews at Amazon concur with my findings. So, I hope this is of some help.

I've got two recommendations. They're both dover books and they're sold as a pair (under 'Better Together') at Amazon.

The first book is the best 'little' book on Thermodynamics. It's based on a series of 4 lectures given by an expert chemical engineer to a group of underclassman ChemE students at RPI.
It contains some 'descriptive calculus' and is definitely at a level above a pop-sci book. Still, it's not a formal text. Just a quick intro course. You can probably plow through it in a weekend.

The second book is more technical than the first and almost as slim! In fact, I've been told it's comprehensive and even covers some physical chemistry! It's by Fermi -- Feynman wasn't the only good physics expositor you know! With that said, it's another good, more technical book. It's also a slim 160 pages! It's cheap, concise, and written by a legend.

Frankly, I wish there were more books like this for other areas of physics as well.

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