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Heated debate.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Published

Journal publication date6/03/1987
JournalThe Times Higher Education Supplement
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, of their nature, represent subsidiary bodies of scientific theory. That is, they deal, not with the fundamental physical laws that govern the interactions and fields of elementary particles, but rather with the chaotic aggregates of particles that constitutt> the familiar world of bulk matter. An important and rather pleasing consequence of this subsidiary status, as Professor Lawden points out, is that these subjects are largely independent of the detailed characteristics of the microscopic constituents (for example, atoms, molecules or quanta) of the systems that they can be used to describe. They are thus endowed with a universality and a quality of endurance that should enable them to outlast many epochs of more fundamental theories.

Bibliographic note

Review of "Principles of Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics" by D.F. Lawden, Wiley, 168pp., ISBN: 0471911720 and 91l747.