E.F. Caldin (1958)

An introduction to Chemical Thermodynamics by E.F. Caldin, published by the Oxford University Press and printed in Great Britain. This copy, which once graced the library shelves of the University of Bath, is a 1961 reprint of the first edition which appeared in 1958.

Edward Francis Caldin (1914 – 1999) was an English physical chemist who spent much of his career in university teaching posts. Despite opposition from some of his academic peers, Caldin believed that students should be acquainted with at least some of the history and philosophy of science.

This book was written primarily as a self-study manual for chemistry undergraduates, a kind of Teach-Yourself-Chemical-Thermodynamics. To what extent it achieves this aim can be debated, as the text is moderately advanced and detailed in its treatment. In this writer’s opinion, it is more valuable as a reference book than as a teaching text.

The contents are laid out in 12 sections:

1. Temperature and heat
2. Energy, the First Law, and the thermodynamic functions associated with it
3. Application of the First Law to gases
4. The Second Law of Thermodynamics and its consequences
5. Applications of the Second Law to gases
6. Reactions involving condensed phases
7. Two-phase systems
8. The Third Law of Thermodynamics
9. The general thermodynamics of solutions
10. Ideal solutions
11. Non-ideal solutions (I) Non-electrolyte solutions
12. Non-ideal solutions (II) Electrolyte solutions

Edward Caldin’s self-teach manual was reviewed on its publication by the Journal of Chemical Education. The reviewer regarded it as ‘not entirely successful’ in this regard but nonetheless concluded that anyone looking for a first course in thermodynamics should consider this book.

The review can be seen here.

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P Mander January 2022