Basic Thermodynamic Concepts And Definitions

August 21, 2020

Basic Thermodynamic Concepts

Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that involves the relationship between heat, work and temperature and other forms of energy. The word thermodynamics can be split up in two: Thermo which refers to heat and dynamics which refers to motion and is the study of:

  • The movement of heat.
  • Heat and work.

Thermodynamics is expressed in terms of four laws that are universally valid and cannot ever be broken:

  • 0th law – Defines temperature (T)
  • 1st law – Defines energy (U)
  • 2nd law – Defines entropy (S)
  • 3rd law – The numerical value of entropy

Basic Thermodynamic Definitions

These are a list of some of the most important phrases used in thermodynamics and need to be remembered, they are straightforward and self-explanatory so won’t require a lot of effort to remember.

  • System: Quantity of matter of fixed identity of the universe that we are studying.
  • Surroundings: Rest of the universe.
  • Boundary: Surface splitting the system from the surroundings.
  • Open system: Mass and energy can move between the system and the surroundings.
  • Closed system: Only energy can transfer between the system and the surrounding and not mass.
  • Isolated system: No mass or energy can be transferred between the system and surroundings.

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