Practical Chemical Thermodynamics for Geoscientists covers classical chemical thermodynamics and focuses on applications to practical problems in the geosciences, environmental sciences, and planetary sciences. This book will provide a strong theoretical foundation for students, while also proving beneficial for earth and planetary scientists seeking a review of thermodynamic principles and their application to a specific problem.

Key Features

  • Strong theoretical foundation and emphasis on applications
  • Numerous worked examples in each chapter
  • Brief historical summaries and biographies of key thermodynamicists—including their fundamental research and discoveries
  • Extensive references to relevant literature
  • Readership

    Students and researchers in earth sciences and related fields, including astronomy and physics.

    Table of Contents



    Chapter 1. Definition, Development, and Applications of Thermodynamics

    I Historical Development of Chemical Thermodynamics

    II Pioneering Applications in the Geosciences

    III Thermodynamics versus Kinetics

    Chapter 2. Important Concepts and Mathematical Methods

    I Definitions

    II Pressure and Temperature

    III Boyle’s Law

    IV Charles’s or Gay-Lussac’s Law

    V Dalton’s Law

    VI An Ideal Gas Thermometer

    VII Ideal Gas Equation of State (the Ideal Gas Law)

    VIII The PVT Surface for an Ideal Gas

    IX Complete Differentials and the PVT Surface of an Ideal Gas

    X Thermal Expansion Coefficient

    XI Compressibility Coefficient

    XII Some Further Notes about Differentials


    Chapter 3. The First Law of Thermodynamics

    I Historical Overview of Ideas about Heat and Work

    II The First Law of Thermodynamics

    III Some Applications of the First Law to Ideal Gases

    IV Adiabatic Processes and the Thermal Structure of Planetary Atmospheres

    V Other Types of Work


    Chapter 4. Thermal Properties of Pure Substances and Some Applications

    I Some Basic Concepts about Heat Capacity and Enthalpy

    II An Overview of Calorimetry

    III Thermal Properties of Solids


    Chapter 5. Thermochemistry

    I Some Basic Concepts

    II Calorimetric Measurement of Reaction Enthalpies

    III Some Applications of Thermochemistry


    Chapter 6. The Second Law of Thermodynamics and Entropy

    I A Review of Some Important Definitions

    II Historical Development of the Second Law


    IV Carnot Cycle

    V Thermodynamic Temperature Scale

    VI Entropy

    VII Some Applications of the Second Law

    VIII Gibbs and Helm


    No. of pages:
    © 2013
    Academic Press
    Print ISBN:
    Electronic ISBN:

    About the author

    Bruce Fegley, Jr.

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Washington University, Planetary Chemistry Laboratory, St. Louis, MO, USA


    "Bruce Fegley has scripted a comprehensive text in classical phenomenological thermodynamics…The greatest strength of this volume is its attention to the needs of the student. I hope its greatest value will be in drawing a new generation to apply classical thermodynamics in the geosciences with intellectual rigor."--Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 48, 2013
    "This book covers thermodynamics from a different angle. Fegley…puts a much stronger emphasis on the effects of pressure or the equilibrium between materials as they occur in the geological or planetary sciences…this focus is demonstrated in the examples and problems discussed in each of the 12 chapters."--CHOICE April 2013