Arieh Ben-Naim

university of jerusalem



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smart kidsthe 4 laws
information Theory

time's arrow

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This book provides a clear and mystery-free presentation of the central concepts in thermodynamics — probability, entropy, Helmholtz energy and Gibbs energy. It presents the concepts of entropy, free energy and various formulations of the Second Law in a friendly, simple language. It is devoid of all kinds of fancy and pompous statements made by authors of popular science books who write on this subject.

The book focuses on the Four Laws of Thermodynamics. As it is said in the dedication page, this book is addressed to readers who might have already been exposed to Atkins' book having a similar title. It challenges both the title, and the contents of Atkins' book, Four Laws That Drive The Universe. One can glean from the title of this new book that the author's views are diametrically opposed to the views of Atkins.

The book is addressed to any curious and intelligent reader. It aims to tickle, and hopefully to satisfy your curiosity. It also aims to challenge your gray matter, and to enrich your knowledge by telling you some facts and ideas regarding the Four Laws of Thermodynamics.

Readership: Anyone interested in the sciences, students, researchers; as well as layman.

This book is about the definition of the Shannon measure of Information, and some derived quantities such as conditional information and mutual information. Unlike many books, which refer to the Shannon's Measure of information (SMI) as "Entropy," this book makes a clear distinction between the SMI and Entropy. In the last chapter, Entropy is derived as a special case of SMI. Ample examples are provided which help the reader in understanding the different concepts discussed in this book. As with previous books by the author, this book aims at a clear and mystery-free presentation of the central concept in Information theory - the Shannon's Measure of Information. This book presents the fundamental concepts of Information theory in a friendly-simple language and is devoid of all kinds of fancy and pompous statements made by authors of popular science books who write on this subject. It is unique in its presentation of Shannon's measure of information, and the clear distinction between this concept and the thermodynamic entropy. Although some mathematical knowledge is required by the reader, the emphasis is on the concepts and their meaning rather on the mathematical details of the theory.

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My interests in science range from theory of liquids and solutions, to theories of water and aqueous solutions, to any theoretical problems in biochemistry and biophysics.

  1. Classical music, clarinet particularly & I love Schubert
  2. Israeli folk dancing (that is what keeps me fit)
  3. Travelling (I am always thrilled to visit, or better to reside in a new place).
My CV, list of publications and list of courses I have given are included in this website.

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This book discusses the proper definitions of entropy, the valid interpretation of entropy and some useful applications of the concept of entropy. Unlike many books which apply the concept of entropy to systems for which it is not even defined (such as living systems, black holes and the entire universe), these applications will help the reader to understand the meaning of entropy. It also emphasizes the limitations of the applicability of the concept of entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. As with the previous books by the author, this book aims at a clear and mystery-free presentation of the central concept in thermodynamics the entropy. In this book, the concepts of entropy and the Second Law are presented in a friendly, simple language. It is devoid of all kinds of fancy and pompous statements made by authors of popular science books who write on this subject.

This book is unique in the following senses: First, it provides three different, but equivalent definitions of Entropy. Second, it provides a simple, valid, and proven interpretation of Entropy, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics based on Shannon's Measure of Information. Third, this is the only book that proves that Entropy is not a function of time. It also shows that Clausius had over-generalized when he formulated the Second Law, and that Boltzmann, misinterpreted his own H-Theorem.

This book discusses entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics in such a way that everyone can understand its subject matter. Entropy is one of the most interesting concepts in physics. Although it is a well-defined concept, it is still perceived by even well-known scientists as a concept cloaked in mystery. It is also the most misused, and often abused, concept in physics. In order to understand entropy, one needs to understand the Shannon measure of information, and in order to grasp this idea, one must be familiar with some basic concepts of probability. Therefore, this book consists of three chapters: the first discusses probability, the second addresses Information Theory, and the third considers entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Readers will discover that the Second Law is nothing but a law of probability.

The greatest blunder ever in the history of science.

The Second Law of thermodynamics, the law of entropy, is one of the longest-standing laws of physics, unchanged even by the last century’s two drastic revolutions in physics.

However, the concept of entropy has long been misinterpreted and misused – making it the greatest ever blunder in the history of science, propagated for decades by scientists and non-scientists alike.

This blunder was initially and primarily brought on by a deep misunderstanding of the concept of entropy. Ironically, ignorance about the meaning of entropy has led some scientists to associate entropy with ignorance, and the Second Law with the “law of spreading ignorance.”

In his book, Arieh Ben-Naim, a respected professor of physical chemistry, attempts to right these wrongs. He scrutinizes twelve misguided definitions and interpretations of entropy, brings order to the chaos, and finally lays out the true meaning of entropy in clear and accessible language anyone can understand. Some Appendices

water lifeThis book is unique in presenting all aspects of water. It includes discussion of the theory of a water molecule, its properties, both in the pure state and as a solvent. In particular, it emphasizes the relevance of water to life.Water is the most important liquid. It is also a vital component of all living systems. It has very unusual properties which makes it the most interesting for research and study.


This book addresses all aspects of Time, and is addressed to all readers from laypersons to research scientists. Setting the tone for the introduction are some amusing notes about Time in the Bible, which dovetails into the elusive question of the "definition" of time. Here, the author suggests a practical, or an operational "definition" of Time. This definition involves a counting number of any periodic process, and is later used to debunk one of the greatest blunders ever in the history of science; misconstruing entropy with time. In addition, the book surveys the history of thinking about time, the perception of time, the development of devices for measuring time, and featuring time in art and humor. All these and more are presented in a simple, and accessible language for a wide range of audience. Pleas check all the graphic Figures for the book