Johnson’s discussion of Boltzmann’s equation (which is credited to him because he came up with the key concepts, though he never explicitly wrote it in the modern form) is anchored in extremely concrete discussions of random processes involving small numbers of particles, and calculating the likelihood of each of the “microstates” of these systems. Thanks to these examples of particles hopping between positions and energy states, he is able to put together one of the clearest explanations I’ve seen of what entropy is in a statistical sense, and how it functions. He even explains why it makes sense for a logarithm to appear, which I had never seen before.—Chad Orzel, Forbes—
Johnson writes pedagogically, but not pedantically. He is charming and colloquial. He uses (maybe a few too many) parenthetical asides. The book barely tops 150 pages, with short chapters switching easily between history and science; it’s a book that can be read lightly and in a weekend.
a piece of scientific popularization as well as a remarkably humane book.
—Inside Higher Ed