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Handbook of Energy by Christopher G. Morris, Cutler J. Cleveland

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Section 20

Thermodynamics

The subject area Thermodynamics appears as the first section of the Foundations theme because this discipline is essential to an understanding of the nature of energy and the constraints placed upon it by physical laws of the Universe. (See “Fundamentals of Energy,” item #1 preceding this Introduction.) The discipline began in the 1800s with the specific study of heat, but has now been extended much more widely to encompass not only a broader context of physics and chemistry but also areas of the biological, social, and economic sciences, as well as engineering technology and industrial design.

The Industrial Revolution, and especially the development of the steam engine, were responsible for the birth of the science ...

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