P. 1
Introduction To Thermodynamics

# Introduction To Thermodynamics

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reverses direction too, always opposing the direction of motion. This means

that the friction force depends on the velocity of the object. For sliding friction,

the dependence is usually only on the direction of the velocity vector (not its

magnitude). But viscous drag in a ﬂuid (also a type of friction) depends on the

magnitude also, increasing with speed. This behavior is in sharp contrast to

conservative forces, which only depend on position. For example, the gravita-

tional force on an object of mass m is always mg directed in the same direction

(toward the center of the earth) no matter what the velocity of the object is.

We see then that macroscopic forces which are non-conservative (friction) are

actually “eﬀective” forces which result from very complex atomic-level motion.

Frictional forces always result in an irreversible conversion of macroscopic kinetic

energy (the motion of the object) to disorganized, random thermal energy, and

always oppose the direction of motion, so Fnc·dx is always negative.

2.8 The First Law of Thermodynamics

We now wish to do energy accounting for arbitrary macroscopic material sys-

tems. We’re already part way there – in Section 2.4 we developed an energy

balance equation for macroscopic matter valid if the bonds between atoms were

rigid. Unfortunately, this is not really the case. Bonds in solids can stretch and

bend like springs, so the atoms are continually vibrating. This means that a

solid will have kinetic energy associated with this motion, and potential energy

due to stretching bonds. In liquids and gases, molecules can move and rotate,

as well as vibrate.

In this section, we extend our previous analysis to account for these eﬀects,

and develop a purely macroscopic statement of energy accounting, which is the

celebrated First Law of Thermodynamics.

2.8.1 The Internal Energy

Consider a macroscopic sample of matter (solid, liquid, or gaseous) at rest.

Although no motion is apparent, on a microscopic level the atoms composing

the sample are in continual, random motion. The reason we don’t perceive

this motion, of course, is that all macroscopic measurements we can do average

over a huge number of atoms. Since the atomic motion is essentially random,

there are just as many atoms travelling to the right with a given speed as to

the left. Even though individual atomic speeds may be hundreds of meters per

second, the atomic velocities tend to cancel one another when we sum over a

large number of atoms.

But the kinetic energies due to the atomic motion don’t cancel, since the

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