Essentials of Thermodynamics by N.D. Hari Dass

Essentials of Thermodynamics offers a fresh perspective on classical 

thermodynamics and its explanation of natural phenomena. It combines 

fundamental principles with applications to offer an integrated resource

for students, teachers and experts alike. The essence of classic texts has 

been distilled to give a balanced and in-depth treatment, including a 

detailed history of ideas which explains how thermodynamics evolved 

without knowledge of the underlying atomic structure of matter. The 

principles are illustrated by a vast range of applications, such as osmotic 

pressure,  how solids melt and liquids boil, the incredible race to reach 

absolute zero, and the modern theme of the renormalization group. Topics 

are handled using a variety of techniques, which helps readers see how 

concepts such as entropy and free energy can be applied to many 

situations, and in diverse ways. 

The book has a large number of solved examples and problems in each 

chapter, as well as a carefully selected guide to further reading. The 

treatment of traditional topics like the three laws of thermodynamics, 

Carnot cycles, Clapeyron equation, phase equilibria, and dilute solutions 

is considerably more detailed than usual. For example, the chapter on 

Carnot cycles discusses exotic cases like the photon cycle along with more 

practical ones like the Otto, Diesel and Rankine cycles. There is a chapter 

on critical phenomena that is modern and yet highly pedagogical and contains 

a first principles calculation of the critical exponents of Van der Waals 

systems. Topics like entropy constants, surface thermodynamics, and

superconducting phase transitions are explained in depth while maintaining 

accessibility for different readers. 

The Author:

After obtaining his PhD in Theoretical Physics from UCSB, N.D. Hari Dass worked at 

UCLA, the Max Planck Institute for Physics (Munich), the Niels Bohr Institute 

(Copenhagen), CERN, NIKHEF (Amsterdam), KEK (Japan), Utrecht and Amsterdam 

Universities, the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (Chennai), the Chennai

Mathematical Institute, and the Indian Institute of Science. He has taught extensively,

both at undergraduate and graduate levels. His major areas of research are Quantum

Field Theories, Astrophysics and Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. He has about

135 publications. In 2004 he built the then India’s fastest academic supercomputer

KABRU which was among the Top 500 Supercomputers of the world. He is passionate

about science outreach. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences,

Allahabad, India. He currently lives in Mysore and can be contacted 


Published by SRI Books, Singapore, 2021. Paperback, 377 pages, ISBN: 979-8712154401