Everything, whether living or nonliving, is made of energy; in other words, matter is energy. Heat and thermodynamics is the study of what happens to that energy in the universe. To understand how matter behaves, we must understand how energy works, and energy, also known as atomic motion, is heat. Heat can do many things, such as cook food, melt ice, warm a cold room, or burn down a house. It can transform what it touches, move from one location to another, and excite atoms into greater activity or calm them down by leaving. Heat and Thermodynamics is the study of heat's behavior and how it impacts the movement of energy and, in particular, the movement of energy in and out of systems. Included is an analysis of the four Laws of Thermodynamics and how they affect the behavior of matter in our universe.
Full-color photographs and illustrations. Index. Glossary. References. Sidebars. Web sites. Further reading.
About the Author(s)
Elizabeth H. Oakes is the former managing editor of Eastern Washington University Press and is currently a freelance writer and photo editor specializing in print and online reference and educational materials. She is the author of more than 20 books, including the acclaimed Encyclopedia of World Scientists and The Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine, both from Facts On File.