Chapter 2. The First and Second Laws

  1. Maarten H. P. Ambaum

Published Online: 16 APR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470710364.ch2

Thermal Physics of the Atmosphere

Thermal Physics of the Atmosphere

How to Cite

Ambaum, M. H. P. (2010) The First and Second Laws, in Thermal Physics of the Atmosphere, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470710364.ch2

Author Information

  1. Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 APR 2010
  2. Published Print: 9 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470745151

Online ISBN: 9780470710364



  • law of conservation of energy - first law of thermodynamics;
  • law relating heat to entropy - second law of thermodynamics;
  • second thermodynamics law - providing direction of time, in macroscopic systems;
  • work done during gas expansion;
  • energy conservation - systems exchanging heat energy with environment;
  • irreversible entropy change - thermodynamics second law;
  • Boltzmann entropy;
  • entropy and probability


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Work

  • Energy conservation: the first law

  • Entropy and the second law

  • Boltzmann entropy

  • Entropy and probability: a macroscopic example

  • Entropy and probability: a stochastic example

  • Problems