© 2005

Entropy and Energy

A Universal Competition


Part of the Interaction of Mechanics and Mathematics book series (IMM)

Table of contents

About this book


"Entropy and Energy- a Universal Competition" is a students textbook as well as a scientific monograph. The concepts of entropy and energy embody the effects of random walk in a body and of deterministic strife respectively, and are therefore often in competition. The book gives instructive examples from elementary thermodynamics and physico-chemistry and extrapolates the notion to non-standard thermodynamic subjects like shape memory, dissipation of the earth's atmosphere, and sociology. The works of the thermodynamic pioneers are presented, in particular Clausius, Carathéodory, Boltzmann, Gibbs, and Planck. The laws of thermodynamics and their limitations are discussed; also the pertinacious Gibbs paradox. The reader has numerous possibilities to influence the programs and thus develop an understanding for the thermodynamic principles.


chemical reactions distribution entropy gravitation linear optimization phase Transition statistical thermodynamics thermodynamics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für VerfahrenstechnikTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Weierstraß-Institut für Angewandte Analysis und StochastikBerlinGermany

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

"This is a wonderful book. In 263 pages, Müller and Weiss provide a superb, all-round, profusely illustrated review of thermodynamics, from its origins and conceptual foundations to its contemporary statistical physics aspects, and to some of its more recent applications in such areas as meteorology and mathematical sociology. … Given the accessibility of the material I’d certainly recommend it to advanced undergraduate students from a wide range of sciences." (Dean Rickles, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2007 j)

"The authors of the present book understand energy and entropy – or loosely termed ‘cause and chance’ – as two parameters being in a universal competition. … The book may be read by newcomers in thermodynamics … ." (Claudia-Veronika Meister, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1116 (18), 2007)