Leslie Woodcock

From Hmolpedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Leslie Woodcock.png

In existographies, Leslie Woodcock (10- BE) (1945- ACM) (CR:5) (LH:3) (TL:8), aka "Les", is an English chemical thermodynamicist, noted for []


In 2005, Woodcock, in his “Phlogiston Theory and Chemical Revolutions”, digressed on the theory of phlogiston, with focus on Joseph Priestley, and the chemical revolution.[1]

In 2010, Woodcock, “Historical Observations on Laws of Thermodynamics”, co-authored with Stanley Sandler, attempted to touch on the history of thermodynamics, with focus on the four laws of thermodynamics; the following is their abstract:[2]

“Most textbooks quote four anonymous laws of thermodynamics (zeroth, first, second, and third), but it seems that every author has their own idiosyncratic statements. Why are there so many versions? Why are the laws of thermodynamics not credited with names of their discoverers? We revisit the history of the laws of thermodynamics and consider whether it would be less confusing, to both students and practitioners, if we define separate laws for reversible and irreversible thermodynamics and simply assign names to them. Central to our understanding of chemical thermodynamics are the concepts of "equilibrium" and "state functions"; these require definition before the various laws can be properly formulated. The idea of a state function is implicit in Black's caloric theory of heat and also suggested by Priestley in phlogiston theory, but it was Gibbs who first represented thermodynamic properties as two-dimensional ‘surfaces’ in 1878; that is, 30 years after the various principles that became the laws of thermodynamics had been discovered. It was even later that Duhem rigorously specified equilibrium states in general, and hence state functions. Here we conjecture that confusion has arisen because there should be two different sets of laws: one for equilibrium thermodynamic processes, and another set for irreversible processes. Then we can identify the laws of equilibrium thermodynamics for changes in enthalpy, energy, and entropy, which can be credited to Hess, Rankine, and Carrot, and corresponding laws of irreversible thermodynamics assigned to Joule, Mayer, and Clausius, respectively.”

Here, regarding "every author has their own idiosyncratic statements", we note that in 2005, Thims went though his thermodynamics book collection, and found over 200 variations of the laws thermodynamics.[3]


In 1970, Woodcock completed his PhD, with a thesis on “Studies of the Thermodynamic and Structural Properties of Liquids by Computer Simulation”, at the University of London.[4] Woodcock held posts at the University of Cambridge, University of Amsterdam, University of Bradford. Woodcock was a NASA consultant and worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Laboratory, as a Consultant to Unilever and the International Fine Particle Research Institute.[5] Presently, Woodcock is professor emeritus of chemical thermodynamics at the University of Manchester.


Quotes | Employed

The following are quotes employed by Woodcock:

Thermodynamics is hard enough without troubling students with its history.”
— Maxwell McGlashan (c.1980), Publication; cited by Leslie Woodcock (2010) in “Historical Observations on Laws of Thermodynamics” (pg. 4485)

Quotes | By

The following are quotes:

Hmolpedia a fantastic summary of all the confusion. I am curious to know where your website is coming from. Who owns and funds it? Who is its intended readership?”
— Leslie Woodcock (2010), Comment to Libb Thims on Hmolpedia, Aug 8[6]
Global warming is nonsense. If you talk to real scientists who have no political interest, they will tell you there is nothing in global warming. It’s an industry that creates vast amounts of money for some people. The term ‘climate change’ is meaningless. The earth’s climate has been changing since time immemorial, that is since the earth was formed 1,000 million years ago. The theory of ‘man-made climate change’ is an unsubstantiated hypothesis about our climate that says it has been adversely affected by the burning of fossil fuels in the last 100 years, causing the average temperature on the earth’s surface to increase very slightly but with disastrous environmental consequences. The temperature of the earth has been going up and down for millions of years. If there are extremes, it’s nothing to do with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; it’s not permanent and it’s not caused by us. The green lobby has created a do-good industry, and it becomes a way of life, like a religion.”
— Leslie Woodcock (2014), commentary on the U.N.’s International Panel on Climate Change, Apr[7]

End matter


  1. Woodcock, Leslie V. (2005). “Phlogiston Theory and Chemical Revolutions” (pdf), Bulletin of the History of Chemistry, 30(2):63-69.
  2. Sandler, Stanley; Woodcock, Leslie. (2010). “Historical Observations on Laws of Thermodynamics” (abs) (pdf), Journal of Chemical Engineering Data, Aug.
  3. Laws of thermodynamics (200+ variations) – HumanThermodynamics.com.
  4. Leslie Woodcock – Album Academicum.
  5. Anon. (2013). “Leslie Woodcock: About”, Course on Modeling Chemical Processes at the Molecular Level”, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Technological University MARA, Malaysia, Jun 10-11.
  6. Sadi-Carnot (profile) (2013) – Hmolpedia 2020.
  7. (a) Corsi, Jerome R. (2014). “Climate Scientist [Woodcock]: Ridicules U.N. Report as Junk”, WND.com, Apr 4.
    (b) Morano, Marc. (2014). “Another Prominent Scientist Dissents! Former NASA Scientists Dr. Les Woodcock ‘Laughs’ at Global Warming”, Climate Depot, Apr 3.


  • Woodcock, Leslie V. (2005). “Phlogiston Theory and Chemical Revolutions” (pdf), Bulletin of the History of Chemistry, 30(2):63-69.
  • Sandler, Stanley; Woodcock, Leslie. (2010). “Historical Observations on Laws of Thermodynamics” (abs) (pdf), Journal of Chemical Engineering Data, Aug.

External links

Theta Delta ics T2.jpg