Entropy for Biologists

Entropy for Biologists

An Introduction to Thermodynamics

1st Edition - January 1, 1970

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  • Author: Harold Morowitz
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323160148

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Entropy for Biologists: An Introduction to Thermodynamics provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of thermodynamics for biologists. It begins with discussions of basic principles such as temperature, energy, kinetic theory, total energy, the second law of thermodynamics, and entropy. It then reviews conceptual tools from probability theory, combinatorial analysis, and information theory, which are essential to understanding elementary statistical mechanics. The remaining chapters present formulations for the relation between statistical mechanics and thermodynamics; the relationship between entropy and information; free-energy functions; and thermal energy. Measurements of temperature, energy, and thermochemical quantities are covered. The final chapter discusses the biological implications of the relation between entropy and information. This book is intended for 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

  • Preface

    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


    X. Entropy, Information, and Energy

    A. Information and Entropy

    B. 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


Product details

  • No. of pages: 212
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1970
  • Published: January 1, 1970
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323160148

About the Author

Harold Morowitz

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