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# What is thermodynamics?

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Thermodynamics is the study of the energy and work of a system. It deals with only the large scale response of systems, which are observable and measurable. Thermodynamics has three principal laws: the zeroth law, the first law and the second law. Each law defines thermodynamic properties that help in understanding and predicting the operations of physical systems.

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The zeroth law involves the basic definitions of thermodynamic equilibrium, which lead to the broad scale definition of temperature. It states that if two systems are thermally in equilibrium with another system, they are also in a thermal equilibrium with each other. The first law states that a system's change in energy is equal to the difference of the amount of energy transferred into the system and the work done by the system.

The first law is taken as a definition of internal energy, and it introduces a state variable known as enthalpy. It allows for the possible existence of many states of a system, but experience shows that only certain states exist. The second law defines a state variable known as entropy. It stipulates that the cumulative entropy of a system and its environment cannot decrease. The entropy can remain constant in case of a reversible process, but it always increases for an irreversible process.

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The sun is the primary source of radiant energy on Earth, according to Explorit Science Center. Radiant energy is a type of electromagnetic radiation. Upon leaving the sun, this energy reaches Earth - a distance of almost 93 million miles - in just eight minutes, because all electromagnetic radiation travels at the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles per second.

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