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Thermodynamics: Four Laws That Move the Universe

Narrated by: Jeffrey C. Grossman
Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

Non-member price: $48.69

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Publisher's Summary

Nothing has had a more profound impact on the development of modern civilization than thermodynamics. Thermodynamic processes are at the heart of everything that involves heat, energy, and work, making an understanding of the subject indispensable for careers in engineering, physical science, biology, meteorology, and even nutrition and culinary arts. Get an in-depth tour of this vital and fascinating science in 24 enthralling lectures suitable for everyone from science novices to experts who wish to review elementary concepts and formulas.

Professor Jeffrey Grossman of MIT uses the four laws of thermodynamics as a launching point to discuss foundational concepts that are critical pillars of science and engineering - ideas such as entropy, chemical potential, Gibbs free energy, enthalpy, osmotic pressure, heat capacity, eutectic melting, and the Carnot cycle. These and other ideas shed light on many phenomena in the natural world, and they are the analytical tools that engineers use to create new devices and technologies. At the end of these lectures, you'll truly appreciate the elegance and importance of thermodynamic principles. Also, you'll have unlocked the secrets to a fascinating aspect of our universe.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2014 The Great Courses (P)2014 The Teaching Company, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • LG
  • 12-03-2019

Cheat...

This "book" appears to be the audio of a video lecture, missing its picture. Despite the accompanying pdf file, the lecturer frequently refers to demonstrations and pointing out visual details of a visual content, which obviously is not visible for me.

This should have been communicated clearly in the description of the product. Misleading. I feel cheated!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Qoheleth
  • 12-01-2019

Excellent Course; Particularly as Review

I'm a chemical engineer and was probably one of the few people in my class who actually enjoyed our thermodynamics class in college. It's a difficult subject. The content of this course is five stars but I hold back one star overall since it may be too difficult for some people without the video. This course was made for video and included demos and equations. That makes listening to it somewhat challenging. But I'm still delighted to see this course made accessible from The Great Courses through Audible at regular prices.

I'd say the audio-only format is just fine for people who have studied thermodynamics previously and are looking for a review. That way all the equations and processes referred to will be easier to visualize mentally. Also listeners with a background in calculus and physics, even if not in thermodynamics, will probably be fine. For beginners it will be more of a challenge, but nothing wrong with that either. It's just something to be aware of.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Bookish Me
  • 03-02-2019

This is good but.....

This is a good lecture. And I’ve learned quite a bit even while only half listening as I drive. The concepts are explained and repeated whenever encountered again. But there are times when there is clearly a visual demonstration happening that you would want to see as it demonstrates a recently introduced concept. Or times when the lecture says he’s put something “here”. It makes you want the video version. Sadly I will have to buy it again in video form to see the demonstrations.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Bill Schmidt
  • 05-01-2019

Sucks because you can't see any of the demos

For a topic like thermals it's great to be able to see what they are talking about in the demonstrations. Like making cotton ignite with the hammer for example. And unfortunately the additional material available doesn't really do the job and skips many of the demos. Fortunately there is google and I know this is a pretty technical topic, but still c'mon this is not in keeping with the Great Courses standard!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles Stasnek
  • 08-02-2019

good but only if you're into it

I'm not a huge fan of thermodynamics and this book has a lot of examples I just didn't care enough to pay attention to but over all it would be great if you were interested in the subject

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • James S.
  • 15-01-2019

Good for very select audience

This is the best thermo audible available so far, and I've been actively looking. Grossman's focus on a somewhat narrow range of thermo concepts makes this great for those wanting to understand those concepts well. But I would've preferred a broader scope (e.g. including discussions on Helmholz free energy and the grand potential), more focus on concepts and less reliance on GRAPHICS and equations. otherwise a very good audible choice for the serious student, perfectly narrated by Grossman himself.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Benjamin J. Hackett
  • 16-03-2019

needed to watch as opposed to listening

first let me state that the course is great. But with the amount of math and graphs in the lectures, it is very difficult to follow.

I will have to purchase the course from my Great Courses Account.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Timothy A Shaw, Sr.
  • 06-04-2019

It is a thoughtful and very educational book.

The subject is presented in a manner that not only makes it easy to remember, it at its end has the quality of causing one to not want the book to end.

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  • Leonardo Diaz
  • 03-04-2019

Definitely a good book, complex, but good.

Like the prior comments mentioned, it definitely should have either the attached video or pictures of the demonstration discussed in the lectures. But still a great read, need to take it for another spin.

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  • Mr Personne
  • 30-03-2019

A bit too slow for me

I think the author tries too hard to make the topic simple and entertaining. The purpose of some of the experiences seems vague perhaps just to have fun breaking glass. Explanation tends to be too long with too many side tracks. Listening to the recording, I found it hard not to drift away because of the slow pace. It felt to me more like a high school lecture than college level. There might be an audience for such an introductory course on thermodynamics, but an audio lecture is probably not the best for that target; for people who have already an idea of what thermodynamics is about, this lecture is too basic (at least the first half.- gave up midway)

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  • John Mortimer
  • 29-03-2019

Couldn't Finish ... Lost in Math ... Wanted Theory

I have listened to other Great Course texts ... like Einstein's Relativity (Excellent). However, the current author gets hopelessly lost in math ... I wish he would have stayed with the Theory, Reinforcing Practical Examples and minimal math.

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  • whatisiswhat
  • 13-01-2019

Great content but not ideal for audio

This course deserves to be ranked more highly. It's one of the few science courses in this series on audible which actually is more than a generalist overview, providing a comprehensive survey of one of the most fundamental topics in physics.

The speaker is excellent and the course content is superb. Unfortunately this is another case in which it is simply the audio from a video lecture and as such many of the demonstrations and visual aids which are referred to are obviously missing so listening to it on the bus without any way to access other materials can sometimes be a little frustrating.

Still, more courses like this (with perhaps a little more care in translating from AV to just A) would be greatly appreciated

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter Blaine
  • 12-03-2019

great work spoiled

not having either the graphics nor the videos made this format unusable. Great pity as the lectures are superbly delivered by cognoscenti who love their subject

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AV Maniac
  • 26-04-2019

Doesn't work as an audiobook

Great lecturer and interesting topic, but it simply doesn't work as an audio course. Can't see the experiments, the complex graphs he uses as the basis to demonstrate ideas and it's pretty much impossible to penetrate the maths without being able to see the formulas.