Einstein’s Fridge: How the Difference Between Hot and Cold Explains the Universe

Scribner. Mar. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781501181306. $28. SCI
Thermodynamics is a principle that affects modern life throughout the day—every day. It is also a subject that we usually only talk about in relation to physics and engineering. Drawing on his experience studying engineering at Cambridge, creative director Sen explores the history and importance of thermodynamics. A background in science isn’t necessary in order to thoroughly engage with and enjoy this work, as Sen succeeds in making science accessible, whether bringing to life the work of physicist and physician Hermann Helmholtz or mathematician Claude Shannon. Sen brings into focus how objects, such as steam locomotives, rely on thermodynamics to function, and breaks down scientific concepts, such as entropy, using examples that will delight popular science fans as they read along. Each chapter, as a history, can stand alone while still building in context on previous chapters. The book includes helpful extensive notes sections along with appendixes, complete with illustrations, that offer additional insight into some of the principles discussed throughout.
VERDICT A welcome entry on the subject of thermodynamics that will spark the interest of readers curious about the names and theories behind physics but unsure where to start.
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