Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 110, Issue 3, pp 1547–1551 | Cite as

In defense of thermodynamics

Comment on “Concepts against mathematics: self-inconsistency in thermodynamic evaluations”
  • Robert H. Swendsen


Recently, Drebushchak (J Therm Anal Calorim 103:753–759, [1]) has stated that, “Various ways of thermodynamic evaluations can yield different results, contradicting to one another,” and that, “Thermodynamics is not a rigorous mathematical science.” These are radical claims. If they were true, thermodynamics as it is now understood would have to be abandoned. In this paper, I will defend thermodynamics by demonstrating that these statements are incorrect. Thermodynamics remains a valid, self-consistent scientific theory, and we are justified in continuing to rely on its predictions.


Thermodynamics Self consistency Identities Heat capacity Ideal gas 



I would like to thank V.A. Drebushchak for bringing these issues to my attention.


  1. 1.
    Drebushchak VA, Concepts against mathematics: self-inconsistency in thermodynamic evaluations, J Therm Anal Calorim. 2011;103:753–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Callen HB. Thermodynamics and an introduction to thermostatistics. 2nd ed. Wiley, New York; 1985.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Swendsen RH. Introduction to statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Oxford Press, London; 2012. pp. 138–9.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Drebushchak VA. Heat capacity increases with pressure. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2009;95:313–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics DepartmentCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations