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# BasicConceptsofThermodynamics

Everysciencehasitsownuniquevocabularyassociatedwithit.Precisedefinitionofbasic
conceptsformsasoundfoundationfordevelopmentofascienceandpreventspossible
misunderstandings.Carefulstudyoftheseconceptsisessentialforagoodunderstanding
oftopicsinthermodynamics.

ThermodynamicsandEnergy
Thermodynamicscanbedefinedas thestudyofenergy,energytransformationsandits
relationtomatter.Theanalysisofthermalsystemsisachievedthroughtheapplicationof
the governing conservation equations, namely Conservation of Mass, Conservation of
Energy (1st law of thermodynamics), the 2nd law of thermodynamics and the property
relations.Energycanbeviewedastheabilitytocausechanges.
First law of thermodynamics: one of the most fundamental laws of nature is the
conservation of energy principle. It simply states that during an interaction, energy can
changefromoneformtoanotherbutthetotalamountofenergyremainsconstant.
Second law of thermodynamics: energy has quality as well as quantity, and actual
processesoccurinthedirectionofdecreasingqualityofenergy.
Whenever there is an interaction between energy and matter, thermodynamics is
involved. Some examples include heating and airconditioning systems, refrigerators,
waterheaters,etc.

DimensionsandUnits
Any physical quantity can be characterized by dimensions. The arbitrary magnitudes
assignedtothedimensionsarecalledunits.Therearetwotypesofdimensions,primaryor
fundamentalandsecondaryorderiveddimensions.
Primarydimensionsare:mass,m;length,L;time,t;temperature,T
Secondarydimensionsaretheonesthatcanbederivedfromprimarydimensionssuchas:
velocity(m/s2),pressure(Pa=kg/m.s2).
TherearetwounitsystemscurrentlyavailableSI(InternationalSystem)andUSCS(United
StatesCustomarySystem)orEnglishsystem.We,however,willuseSIunitsexclusivelyin
this course. The SI units are based on decimal relationship between units. The prefixes
usedtoexpressthemultiplesofthevariousunitsarelistedinTable11.
Table1:StandardprefixesinSIunits.
MULTIPLE

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

PREFIX

tetra,T

giga,G

mega,M

kilo,k

centi,c

mili,m

micro,

nano,n

pico,p

12

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M.BahramiENSC388(F09)IntroandBasicConcepts

## Important note: in engineering all equations must be dimensionally homogenous. This

meansthateveryterminanequationmusthavethesameunits.Itcanbeusedasasanity
checkforyoursolution.
Example1:UnitConversion
Theheatdissipationratedensityofanelectronicdeviceisreportedas10.72mW/mm2by
themanufacturer.ConvertthistoW/m2.
2

1W
mW 1000mm
W
10.72
10720 2

2
mm 1m 1000mW
m

ClosedandOpenSystems
A system is defined as a quantity of matter or a region in space chosen for study. The
massorregionoutsidethesystemiscalledthesurroundings.

BOUNDARY
SURROUNDINGS
SYSTEM

Fig.1:System,surroundings,andboundary

Boundary:therealorimaginarysurfacethatseparatesthesystemfromitssurroundings.
Theboundariesofasystemcanbefixedormovable.Mathematically,theboundaryhas
zerothickness,nomass,andnovolume.
Closedsystemorcontrolmass:consistsofafixedamountofmass,andnomasscancross
itsboundary.But,energyintheformofheat orwork,can crosstheboundary,andthe
volumeofaclosedsystemdoesnothavetobefixed.
Opensystemorcontrolvolume:isaproperlyselectedregioninspace.Itusuallyencloses
theboundaryofacontrolvolume.
Importantnote:somethermodynamicsrelationsthatareapplicabletoclosedandopen
systemsaredifferent.Thus,itisextremelyimportanttorecognizethetypeofsystemwe
havebeforestartanalyzingit.
Isolated system: A closed system that does not communicate with the surroundings by
anymeans.
Rigidsystem:Aclosedsystemthatcommunicateswiththesurroundingsbyheatonly.
M.BahramiENSC388(F09)IntroandBasicConcepts

Adiabatic system: A closed or open system that does not exchange energy with the
surroundingsbyheat.

mass
CLOSED
SYSTEM
m =const.
energy

Fig.2:Closedsystem,masscannotcrosstheboundaries,butenergycan.

mass

CONTROL
VOLUME
energy

Fig.3:Controlvolume,bothmassandenergycancrosstheboundaries.

Energy
Inthermodynamics,wedealwithchangeofthetotalenergyonly.Thus,thetotalenergy
ofasystemcanbeassignedavalueofzeroatsomereferencepoint.Totalenergyofa
systemhastwogroups:macroscopicandmicroscopic.
Macroscopic forms of energy: forms of energy that a system posses as a whole with
respect to some outside reference frame, such as kinetic and potential energy. The
macroscopicenergyofasystemisrelatedtomotionandtheinfluenceofsomeexternal
effectssuchasgravity,magnetism,electricity,andsurfacetension.

M.BahramiENSC388(F09)IntroandBasicConcepts

Kinetic energy: energy that a system posses as a result of its relative motion
relativetosomereferenceframe,KE
mV 2
KE
2

kJ

whereVisthevelocityofthesystemin(m/s).
Potentialenergy:istheenergythatasystempossesasaresultofitselevationina
gravitationalfield,PE
PE mgz

kJ

wheregisthegravitationalaccelerationandzistheelevationofthecenterofgravity
ofthesystemrelativetosomearbitraryreferenceplane.
Microscopicformsofenergy:arethoserelatedtomolecularstructureofasystem.They
areindependentofoutsidereferenceframes.Thesumofmicroscopicenergyiscalledthe
internalenergy,U.
Thetotalenergyofasystemconsistsofthekinetic,potential,andinternalenergies:
E U KE PE U

mV 2
mgz
2

kJ

where the contributions of magnetic, electric, nuclear energy are neglected. Internal
energy is related to the molecular structure and the degree of molecular activity and it
maybeviewedasthesumofthekineticandpotentialenergiesofmolecules.
The sum of translational, vibrational, and rotational energies of molecules is the
kinetic energy of molecules, and it is also called the sensible energy. At higher
temperatures,systemwillhavehighersensibleenergy.
Internal energy associated with the phase of a system is called latent heat. The
intermolecularforcesarestrongestinsolidsandweakestingases.
The internal energy associated with the atomic bonds in a molecule is called
chemical or bond energy. The tremendous amount of energy associated with the
bondswithinthenucleolusofatomitselfiscalledatomicenergy.
Energyinteractionswithaclosedsystemcanoccurviaheattransferandwork.

M.BahramiENSC388(F09)IntroandBasicConcepts

Fig.14:Formsofenergy.

M.BahramiENSC388(F09)IntroandBasicConcepts

PropertiesofaSystem
Any characteristic of a system is called a property. In classical thermodynamics, the
substanceisassumedtobeacontinuum,homogenousmatterwithnomicroscopicholes.
Thisassumptionholdsaslongasthevolumes,andlengthscalesarelargewithrespectto
theintermolecularspacing.
Intensiveproperties:arethosethatareindependentofthesize(mass)ofasystem,such
Extensive properties: values that are dependant on size of the system such as mass,
Generally,uppercaselettersareusedtodenoteextensiveproperties(exceptmass
m), and lower case letters are used for intensive properties (except pressure P,
temperatureT).
Extensive properties per unit mass are called specific properties, e.g. specific
volume(v=V/m).

extensive
m

0.5m

0.5m

0.5V

0.5V

properties

intensive
properties

Fig.15:Intensiveandextensivepropertiesofasystem.

StateandEquilibrium
Atagivenstate,allthepropertiesofasystemhavefixedvalues.Thus,ifthevalueofeven
onepropertychanges,thestatewillchangetodifferentone.
Inanequilibriumstate,therearenounbalancedpotentials(ordrivingforces)withinthe
system. A system in equilibrium experiences no changes when it is isolated from its
surroundings.
Thermal equilibrium: when the temperature is the same throughout the entire
system.

M.BahramiENSC388(F09)IntroandBasicConcepts

Mechanicalequilibrium:whenthereisnochangeinpressureatanypointofthe
system. However, the pressure may vary within the system due to gravitational
effects.
Phaseequilibrium:inatwophasesystem,whenthemassofeachphasereaches
anequilibriumlevel.
Chemical equilibrium: when the chemical composition of a system does not
changewithtime,i.e.,nochemicalreactionsoccur.

ProcessesandCycles
Anychangeasystemundergoesfromoneequilibriumstatetoanotheriscalledaprocess,
andtheseriesofstatesthroughwhichasystempassesduringaprocessiscalledapath.

Processpath

State2

A
B
State1

Fig.6:Tospecifyaprocess,initialandfinalstatesandpathmustbespecified.
Quasiequilibrium process: can be viewed as a sufficiently slow process that allows the
at all times. Quasiequilibrium process is an idealized process and is not a true
representationoftheactualprocess.Wemodelactualprocesseswithquasiequilibrium
ones.Moreover,theyserveasstandardstowhichactualprocessescanbecompared.
Processdiagramsareusedtovisualizeprocesses.Notethattheprocesspathindicatesa
series of equilibrium states, and we are not able to specify the states for a nonquasi
equilibriumprocess.
Prefixisoisusedtodesignateaprocessforwhichaparticularpropertyisconstant.
Isothermal:isaprocessduringwhichthetemperatureremainsconstant
Isobaric:isaprocessduringwhichthepressureremainsconstant
Isometric:isprocessduringwhichthespecificvolumeremainsconstant.
Asystemissaidtohaveundergoneacycleifitreturnstoitsinitialstateattheendofthe
process.

M.BahramiENSC388(F09)IntroandBasicConcepts

1
V

Fig.17:AfourprocesscycleinaPVdiagram.
The state of a system is described by its properties. The state of a simple compressible
systemiscompletelyspecifiedbytwoindependent,intensiveproperties.
A system is called simple compressible system in the absence of electrical, magnetic,
gravitational,motion,andsurfacetensioneffects(externalforcefields).
Independent properties: two properties are independent if one property can be varied
whiletheotheroneisheldconstant.

Pressure
Pressureistheforceexertedbyafluidperunitarea.

Pressure

Force
Area

N
Pa
m2

Influids,gasesandliquids,wespeakofpressure;insolidsthisisstress.Forafluidatrest,
thepressureatagivenpointisthesameinalldirections.
Weight of liquid
Area
mg Ahg

A
A
P gh
P

z
h

P(z)

Area=A

inhorizontalplanes.
M.BahramiENSC388(F09)IntroandBasicConcepts

Theactualpressureatagivenpositioniscalledtheabsolutepressure,anditismeasured
relativetoabsolutevacuum.
gaugepressure=absolutepressureatmosphericpressure

## Pgauge Pabs Patm

Pvac Patm Pabs

P Patm
P Patm

P
Pgauge

Pvac

Pabs
Patm
Absolute
(vacuum)=0

Fig.9:Absolute,gauge,andvacuumpressures.
Inthermodynamicscalculations,alwaysuseabsolutepressure.Mostpressuremeasuring
devices are calibrated to read zero in the atmosphere (they measure Pgauge or Pvac). Be
sectionalareaofthetubeisnotimportant.Themanometermeasuresthegaugepressure.

Fig.10:Basicmanometer,P2=P1.

P1 Patm gh

kPa

M.BahramiENSC388(F09)IntroandBasicConcepts

Transducersaredevicesthatusepiezoelectricstomeasurepressure.

veryaccurateandrobust

canmeasurefrom106to105atm

canmeasurePgaugeorPabs

vacuumononeend

Fig.11:Burdongauge.
Example2:Pressure
Thepiston ofacylinderpistondevicehasamass of60kg andacrosssectionalareaof
0.04 m2, as shown in Fig. 12. The depth of the liquid in the cylinder is 1.8 m and has a
densityof1558kg/m3.Thelocalatmosphericpressureis0.97bar,andthegravitational
accelerationis9.8m/s2.Determinethepressureatthebottomofthecylinder.
Solution:thepressureatthebottomofthecylindercanbefoundfromthesummationof
theforcesduetoatmosphericpressure,pistonweight,andtheweightoftheliquidinthe
cylinder.
Wbottom Patm A Wliquid WPiston
Pbottom Patm

mg
gh
A

M.BahramiENSC388(F09)IntroandBasicConcepts

10

60kg 9.8 m / s 2
Pbottom 0.97bar
1558 kg / m 3 9.8 m / s 2 1.8 m
2
0.04 m

1N / m 2 1bar

1.3918 bars

2
5
2
1kg / m.s 10 N / m

Patm=0.97bar
mPiston =60kg
A=0.04m2

h=1.8m

P=?

Fig.12:Sketchforexample2.

Temperature
Temperatureisapointerforthedirectionofenergytransferasheat.

Fig.13:Heattransferoccursinthedirectionofhighertolowertemperature.
Whenthetemperaturesoftwobodiesarethesame,thermalequilibriumisreached.The
equalityoftemperatureistheonlyrequirementforthermalequilibrium.
The0thlawofthermodynamics:statesthatiftwobodiesareinthermalequilibriumwith
athirdbody,theyarealsointhermalequilibriumwitheachother.
The0th lawmakesathermometerpossible.

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In accordance with the 0th law, any system that possesses an equation of state that
relates temperature T to other accurately measurable properties can be used as a
thermometere.g.anidealgasobeystheequationofstate:

PV

mR

ExperimentallyobtainedTemperatureScales:theCelsiusandFahrenheitscales,arebased
onthemeltingandboilingpointsofwater.Theyarealsocalledtwopointscales.
Conventional thermometry depends on material properties e.g. mercury expands with
temperatureinarepeatableandpredictableway
Thermodynamic Temperature Scales (independent of the material), the Kelvin and
Rankinescales,aredeterminedusingaconstantvolumegasthermometer.

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