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9780198832676

Energy: A Very Short Introduction

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780198832676

  • ISBN10:

    0198832672

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2021-07-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Summary

The sun shines, the wind blows, water runs downhill, and wood burns into ashes. Each of these processes involves energy and its transformation to states of higher disorder or entropy. The two fundamental physical concepts of energy and entropy shape all the dynamics that take place around us
at a fundamental level, and are at the core of questions about the development of life and the evolution of the Universe, as well as informing practical questions such as the maximum energy a power plant can generate, and how much renewable energy is available on Earth.

This Very Short Introduction describes the basics of energy, entropy, and the laws of thermodynamics, and how these apply to processes in the world around us, from planetary dynamics to the climate system, life, and human activity. Axel Kleidon describes the different forms of energy seen in nature;
the laws that govern its conversion from one form to another; and how these forms and conversions underlie processes in the world around us. He also considers how energy becomes dispersed, and considers the short- and long-term future of the Earth in terms of energy

ABOUT THE SERIES:
The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make
interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Author Biography


Axel Kleidon, Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry

Axel Kleidon is a senior scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany. His research aims to understand the Earth as a thermodynamic system and applies these concepts to diverse topics ranging from basic research on climate, vegetation, and global change to renewable energy limits and human futures. Over the years, he has been key in promoting the use of thermodynamics and optimality principles in Earth system science. His books include Thermodynamic Foundations of the Earth System (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics and the Production of Entropy: Life, Earth, and Beyond (Springer, 2005), which he co-edited with Ralph Lorenz.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgements
List of illustrations
1. The concept of energy
2. Energy and Entropy
3. Energy of stars and planets
4. Energy of the climate system
5. Energy and geochemical cycling
6. Energy, life, and the biosphere
7. Energy and human societies
8. Energy and the future
References
Further reading

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