Entropy for Biologists - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780125071505, 9781483263168

Entropy for Biologists

1st Edition

An Introduction to Thermodynamics

Authors: Harold J. Morowitz
eBook ISBN: 9781483263168
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st January 1970
Page Count: 212
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Entropy for Biologists: An Introduction to Thermodynamics is an introductory book for people in the life sciences who wish to master the concepts of thermal physics without being forced to a degree and rate of symbol manipulation which is foreign to their patterns of thought. The book opens with a chapter on temperature, followed by separate chapters that discuss the concepts of energy, kinetic theory, total energy, the second law of thermodynamics, entropy, and probability and information theory. Subsequent chapters deal with statistical mechanics and its relation to thermodynamics, free-energy functions, applications of the Gibbs free energy and the Gibbs chemical potential, and measurement in thermal physics. The book is primarily directed at those graduate and advanced undergraduate students of biology and biochemistry who wish to develop a sense of confidence about their understanding of the thermal physics which will be useful in pursuing their work. It may also prove useful to professionals who wish to bolster their knowledge in this area.

Table of Contents


I. Temperature

A. Introduction

B. Physiological Temperature

C. Empirical Thermometers

D. Gas-Law Thermometers


II. Energy

A. Mechanical Energy

B. Conservation of Energy

C. Thermal Energy


III. Introduction to Kinetic Theory


IV. Total Energy

A. The Measurability of Energy

B. The First Law of Thermodynamics


V. The Second Law of Thermodynamics

A. Heat Engines and Refrigerators

B. Statements of the Second Law

C. Carnot Cycles

D. Carnot Theorems

E. The Thermodynamic Temperature Scale


VI. The Entropy Function

A. State Functions

B. Integrals of dQ

C. Properties of the Entropy Function

D. The Measurability of Entropy

E. The Third Law of Thermodynamics

F. Entropy and Chemical Reactions


VII. Probability and Information

A. Probability

B. Information Theory


VIII. Introduction to Statistical Mechanics

A. The Statistical Point of View

B. The Quantum Mechanical Description of Systems

C. The Ensemble Approach

D. The Most Probable Distribution

E. The Maxwell-Boltzmann Distribution


IX. The Relation between Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics

A. Equivalent Formulations

B. The Partition Function

C. Helmholtz Free Energy

D. Classical Statistical Mechanics

E. Velocity Distribution Function

F. Internal Degrees of Freedom


Χ. Entropy, Information, and Energy

A. Information and Entropy

Β. Maxwell's Demon


XI. Free-Energy Functions

A. Gibbs Free Energy

B. Helmholtz Free Energy

C. Generalized Energy Function

D. Enthalpy and Standard States

E. The Euler Equation

F. Activity

G. The Use of Alternate Methods


XII. Thermal Energy

A. Order and Disorder

B. Diffusion

C. Brownian Motion


XIII. Applications of the Gibbs Free Energy and the Gibbs Chemical Potential

A. Electrochemistry

B. Surface Chemistry

C. The Phase Rule

D. Osmotic Pressure


XIV. Measurement in Thermal Physics

XV. Entropy and Biology

Appendix I. Conservation of Mechanical Energy: General Treatment

Appendix II. The Proof of the Equivalence of the Perfect-Gas Temperature Scale and the Absolute Thermodynamic Temperature Scale

Appendix III. Entropy of a Perfect Gas

Appendix IV. Stirling's Approximation

Appendix V. Evaluation of the Partition Function of a Perfect Gas



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© Academic Press 1970
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Harold J. Morowitz

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