An Introduction to Thermal Physics

Daniel V. Schroeder, Department of Physics, Weber State University

Book Production Details

Several readers have asked how the book was produced. I'll try to describe some of the details here.

Nearly all of the book was produced on Macintosh computers: a Powerbook 5300cs laptop on which I did most of the typing and calculation, and a desktop Power Mac 7200 that I used mostly for previewing, printing, and communicating with the outside world.

I typeset the entire book (except for the title and copyright pages) myself, using version 1.8 of TeXtures, an implementation of TeX on the Macintosh. The fonts are Computer Modern 10pt (on 12.5pt baselines) for the main text, 9pt (on 11pt baselines) for the problems, figure labels and captions, footnotes, and much of the end matter. I used Plain TeX (not LaTeX), and wrote my own macros for formatting. Joan Marsh and Lisa Weber at Addison-Wesley looked at several sample pages and gave me some excellent advice on typographic details. A professional copy editor also read the entire manuscript and gave suggestions on such things as grammar and spelling and punctuation.

For the line drawings I used Adobe Illustrator. (Except when a drawing included a bitmap image, I used Illustrator version 3, which is much less cumbersome than the newer versions.) I typeset the figure labels in Computer Modern 9pt using TeXtures, then exported them to Illustrator for inclusion in the figures. The photos were scanned and touched up in Adobe Photoshop, with labels and text added in Illustrator (version 6) in a few cases. For quantitative graphs I used Mathematica (versions 2 and 3), exporting each graphic to Illustrator for final touchup and labeling.

I also used Mathematica for nearly all the numerical calculations, the only exceptions being a few tables generated with Excel and the Monte Carlo simulations described in Section 8.2. Most of those simulations were done in True Basic, but for the longer calculations I ported the code to Metrowerks Pascal which ran much faster. The simulation that resulted in Figure 8.10 ran overnight (about 10 hours) on my 1996-vintage Powerbook 5300.

I took all the photos that are not credited to anyone else. Figure 1.1 was taken at the September 1998 Balloon Festival in Eden, Utah; you can see Mt. Ogden in the background. Figure 5.18 was taken in July 1998 in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Figure 7.22 was taken at the home studio of my friend Suzanne Storer, a professional potter; that's her hand holding the plug. Suzanne also provided me with the cones shown in Figure 1.2.

For the cover photo I borrowed an 18mm lens (and a camera to go with it) from my colleague John Sohl. At the end of June, 1998, I camped in Utah's Uinta Mountains (about two hours from my home in Ogden), and got up before dawn to snowshoe a mile off the road to the site of the photo, Ruth Lake. Wanting to show two phases in equilibrium, I was disappointed that a thin layer of ice had formed overnight on the melted portions of the lake. I did find some liquid water at one corner, though, and that's where I shot my roll of film, bracketing exposures and trying several compositions. (The water came out completely black, but it's there.) The mountain in the background is Hayden Peak. For this photo I did no further processing: I just sent several slides to my publisher, and they picked one, scanned it, added the text, and did the rest of the cover design.

Meanwhile, when the text of the book was finished I simply "printed" each chapter to a PostScript file, put all these files on a Zip disk, and mailed the disk to Addison-Wesley. They sent it on to the printer, and the book was published within less than six weeks.

If you've read this far, you may be thinking that I went to a lot of trouble to typeset and format and illustrate the book myself. But I'm convinced that it was no more trouble than proofreading someone else's work and repeatedly sending it back for corrections. On the other hand, doing it myself had at least three advantages: I had much more control over the book's appearance; the book was produced much more quickly; and (most importantly) it saved the publisher a lot of money, allowing them to pass the savings on to purchasers (which they promised to do as part of our contract agreement).

Last modified on November 11, 1999.