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The Second Law

by P. W. Atkins
New York: W. H. Freeman, 1994. 216 pages.

Out of print, but well worth the search, The Second Law presents a nonmathematical account of the second law of thermodynamics, teeming with vivid examples, ideas, and images. "Mention of the Second Law," Atkins notes, "raises visions of lumbering steam engines, intricate mathematics, and infinitely incomprehensible entropy. ... In this book I hope to go some way toward revealing the workings of the [Second] Law, and showing its span of application." Originally published in the Scientific American Library series in 1984, and republished, with updates, in 1994 as a paperback. The reviewer for Nature described it as "[a] lovely book, beautifully illustrated and presented."