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Thermodynamics Demystified A Self Teaching Guide by Merle C. Potter
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Thermodynamics Demystified A Self Teaching Guide by Merle C. Potter


This book is intended to accompany a text used in the first course in thermodynamics that is required in all mechanical engineering departments, as well as several other departments. It provides a succinct presentation of the material so that the students more easily understand the more difficult concepts. Many thermodynamics texts are over 900 pages long and it is often difficult to ferret out the essentials due to the excessive verbiage.

This book presents those essentials. The basic principles upon which a study of thermodynamics is based are illustrated with numerous examples and practice exams, with solutions, that allow students to develop their problem-solving skills. All examples and problems are presented using SI metric units. English-unit equivalents are given in App. A.

The mathematics required to solve the problems is that used in several other engineering courses. The more-advanced mathematics is typically not used in an introductory course in thermodynamics. Calculus is more than sufficient.

The quizzes at the end of each chapter contain four-part, multiple-choice problems similar in format to those found in national exams, such as the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (the first of two exams required in the engineering registration process), the Graduate Record Exam (required when applying for most graduate schools), and the LSAT and MCAT exams. Engineering courses do not, in general, utilize multiple-choice exams but it is quite important that students gain experience in taking such exams.

This book allows that experience. If one correctly answers 50 percent or more of multiple-choice questions correctly, that is quite good. If you have comments, suggestions, or corrections or simply want to opine, please email me at [email protected] It is impossible to write a book free of errors, but if I’m made aware of them, I can have them corrected in future printings.

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