6.050J | Spring 2008 | Undergraduate

Information and Entropy

Unit 12: Temperature





Seminal papers on the Principle of Maximum Entropy by Edwin T. Jaynes (July 5, 1922 – April 30, 1998):



There are many textbooks on thermodynamics and energy conversion.

  • Silbey, R., R. Alberty, and M. Bawendi. Physical Chemistry. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2004. ISBN: 9780471215042. 
    These authors are from MIT. Alberty was formerly Dean of Science, and Silbey was until recently Dean of Science. It’s amazing that anyone can be a Dean and still keep up with science.
  • Typical excellent book in a traditional style, Zemansky, Mark W. Heat and Thermodynamics. 3rd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1951, or earlier editions starting in 1937. This book does not mention information and starts with assumed knowledge about temperature, pressure, and volume. Suitable for advanced undergraduates.
  • Introductory book, used for sophomores, covering classical thermodynamics (no information), Van Ness, H. C. Understanding Thermodynamics. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1969. Succinct and carefully crafted treatment.
  • Book covering both equilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics, Callen, Herbert B. Thermodynamics. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1962.
  • Careful treatment of classical thermodynamics (no mention of information) with emphasis on the mathematical formalism, Truesdell, C. Rational Thermodynamics. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1969. Suitable for graduate courses, for those with some prior exposure to thermodynamics.
  • Textbook developed at MIT in energy conversion (no thermodynamics), White, David C., and Herbert H. Woodson. Electromechanical Energy Conversion. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1959.
  • An early textbook to use the Principle of Maximum Entropy as an approach to thermodynamics is Tribus, M. Thermostatics and Thermodynamics. Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand Co, Inc., 1961.
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