John Denker (2012) in a postscript "Philosophical and pedagogical
point" to his PhysLrnR post "Re: The second law of thermodynamics"
As it says at <http://www.av8n.com/physics/thermo/intro.html>:
"Thermodynamics is celebrated for its power, generality, and
elegance. However, all too often, students are taught some sort of
pseudo-thermodynamics that is infamously confusing, limited, and
As I indicated in "Re: The Abysmal Foundations of Thermodynamics"
[Hake (2010), a response to Denker (2010)], the power, generality,
and elegance of classical thermodynamics is cogently set forth by
Brian Pippard (1957) in "Elements of Classical Thermodynamics"
"It may be objected by some that I have concentrated too much on the
dry bones, and to little on the flesh which cloths them, but I would
ask such critics to concede at least that the dry bones have an
austere beauty of their own."
- Brian Pippard (1957, p. vii)
REFERENCES [All URL's shortened by <http://bit.ly/> and accessed on
05 Jan 2013.]
Denker, J. 2010. "Re: The Abysmal Foundations of Thermodynamics,"
Phys-L post of 07 Dec 2010 11:48:32 -070; online on the OPEN! Phys-L
archives at <http://bit.ly/UsuBqf>. Denker wrote: "To me,
thermodynamics is synonymous with statistical mechanics. It is
predicated on being able to count the microstates. I am aware that
classical thermodynamics flourished for many decades before QM was
invented . . . . . but personally I don't understand classical
thermodynamics, certainly not the foundations thereof."
Denker, J. 2012. "Re: The second law of thermodynamics," on the
CLOSED! PhysLrnR archives at <http://bit.ly/VqVK8S>. Post of 4 Jan
2013 13:23:35-0700 to PhysLrnR. See also Denker's (2010) Phys-L post.
To access the archives of PhysLnR one needs to subscribe : - ( , but
that takes only a few minutes by clicking on <http://bit.ly/nG318r>
and then clicking on "Join or Leave PHYSLRNR-LIST." If you're busy,
then subscribe using the "NOMAIL" option under "Miscellaneous." Then,
as a subscriber, you may access the archives and/or post messages at
any time, while receiving NO MAIL from the list!
Hake, R.R. 2010. "Re: The Abysmal Foundations of Thermodynamics,"
online on the OPEN! Phys-L archives at <http://bit.ly/WfBNQA>. Post
of 8 Dec 2010 08:20:27-0800 to Phys-L and PhysLrnR.
Pippard, A.B. 1957. "Elements of Classical Thermodynamics" Cambridge
University Press, publisher's information at <http://bit.ly/eYLKzM>.
Amazon.com information at <http://amzn.to/eOLnRD>. Note the
searchable "Look Inside" feature.