Q:

What is thermodynamics?

A:

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.

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.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Why is energy important?

    A:

    Life cannot exist without energy. Movement requires energy as well. Modern civilization depends on being able to harness and use energy effectively to generate electricity and to enable transportation.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where does radiant energy come from?

    A:

    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.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How is energy created?

    A:

    About.com explains that the law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Energy can only be changed from one form to another, and the total energy of a system always remains constant.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How are temperature and thermal energy different?

    A:

    The difference between temperature and thermal energy is that temperature measures the average kinetic speed of molecules and thermal energy is the total kinetic energy of all particles in a given substance. In other words, temperature measures the average speed of movement, and thermal energy measures the mass of a substance. Both temperature and thermal energy are made by the movement of particles.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore