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.