Book Review — Thermodynamics in Earth and Planetary Sciences

Thermodynamics is a vast subject with a long and complex history. It is now about two hundred years since the general acceptance of the ideal gas equation of state (PV = nRT) (e.g., Biot 1816) and the discovery of limiting behaviour in the high temperature heat capacity of elemental solids (Petit and Dulong 1819). Since then, empirical thermodynamic laws and statistical thermodynamic models have revolutionised our understanding of a myriad of physical and chemical processes and material properties. Thermodynamics underpins much of our modern lifestyle and our understanding of the natural world. It plays, in the words of Russian Nobel laureate in chemistry Ilya Prigogine, “a fundamental role far beyond its original scope” (Prigogine 1977).

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Handbook of Luminescence Dating

Quartz and feldspar are ubiquitous and amazing minerals because they record a stored signal that can be accessed to establish the time that elapsed since that mineral was last exposed to sunlight (or heated from ~100 °C to 400 °C). In the Handbook of Luminescence Dating, a cast of expert-practitioners explore the wide range of luminescence dating applications that are employed by Quaternary scientists, archaeologists and geologists.

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Mont Saint-Hilaire: History, Geology, Mineralogy

About 40 km east of Montreal in Quebec (Canada), the modest hill named Mont Saint-Hilaire (MSH) reaches only 415 meters. But the quarry on its northeastern flank is one of the world’s richest mineral localities, having yielded up 434 species and 66 type minerals. There are only two locations with more type minerals: Långban (Sweden) has 74 type minerals, and Tsumeb (Namibia) has 72. It was a pleasure receiving the new monograph on MSH: it is about 650 pages long, weighs in at ~2.3 kilograms, and is packed with thoroughly documented text and excellent photos.

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