Thermodynamics for Physicists

  • Hans Frauenfelder
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)


Physicists know thermodynamics, but many use it only rarely in their research work. Knowledge therefore is not supplemented by intuition [1]. In biomolecular physics, thermodynamics is necessary. Equilibrium problems and dynamic questions call for thermodynamic concepts. In particular, entropy and volume changes during biomolecular reactions may be among the most important clues to the mechanism of a reaction. In the present section, an outline is given of the aspects of thermodynamics that we will need most. The discussion will be brief; further details and generalizations can be found in many texts [2]–[4].


Partition Function Thermodynamic Potential Legendre Transformation Helmholtz Energy Thermal Entropy 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Frauenfelder
    • 1
  1. 1.Theory DivisionLos Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA

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