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Thermodynamics (ME 221)

3 Credit Hours, Spring 2016

Dr. Nitin Agrawal
Office: 162 Krasnow Institute
Office Hours: Thursday (10:00 AM-12:00 PM) or by appointment
Office Phone Number: (703) 993-3970
Emergency Phone Number: Bioengineering Department, (703) 993-4190 (9 AM-5 PM)

Class Time and Location:

Tuesday, Thursday: 12:00-1:15 PM
Robinson Hall, A248

Cengel, Y.A. and Boles, M.A. Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach. McGraw-Hill, 2010, 8/e.
Note: Additional reading material will be provided by the instructor as needed.

Course Description:
Thermodynamics principles are applied ubiquitously. This course is designed to provide exposure to the
fundamentals of thermodynamic properties of matter, ideal and real gases, work and heat, first and second
laws and their application to engineering systems. The course will provide a conceptual understanding
of how automobile engines function, how a utility plant generates electricity, and how a
refrigerator keeps the icebox cold etc. The course has been packaged to not only provide fundamental
information on the above topics, but also to stimulate team working skills, awareness of the current
scientific developments through literature review, and real-time experiences through class

Course Objectives:
After successfully completing this course, a student will be able to:
 Determine properties of pure substances using thermodynamic tables.
 Use the ideal gas law.
 Calculate changes in internal energy and enthalpy using specific heats.
 Calculate the work done by a closed system via integration.
 Apply the first law of thermodynamics to a closed system.
 Apply the first law of thermodynamics to an open system.
 Analyze the Carnot, Otto, and Rankine thermodynamic cycles.
 Apply the second law of thermodynamics.
 Calculate changes in entropy using thermodynamic tables.
 Calculate changes in entropy for ideal gases.
 Understand the overall thermodynamics principles and applications

Homework Assignments:
At the end of major topics, homework and reading assignments will be provided that will also include
literature review and questions from topics discussed in the class. Homework will be due after one week.

Mid-term and Final Exam:

Two mid-term exams will be conducted in a format similar to homeworks. Announcement will be made
in advance prior to the exam date. A group project will substitute the final exam and the course learning
will be assessed through a written report and an oral presentation. All exams will be closed-book and
closed-notes unless specified in the class.

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Group Project:
Groups of 5 students will work on a scientific project related to the applications of thermodynamics.
Details of the group project will be provided in the class at regular intervals.

Grading Policy:
Class attendance and participation 10%
Homework/quiz 30%
Midterm exam 1 20%
Midterm exam 2 20%
Group Project 20% (10% + 10% for written proposal and oral presentation)

Homework will be due before the class starts. Late homework assignments will not be accepted unless
there is a documented emergency. Final grading will be done on the percentile basis. Individual weighted
% grades will be calculated as above and the final grades will be assigned considering the top class score
as reference point. Cutoff scores for grades will be calculated as below:

A+ 3% below the top class score

A 5% below the top class score Example: If the best final weighted score in the class is 90
A- 7% below the top class score A+ 90-87.3 C+ 72-69.3
B+ 10% below the top class score A 87.3-85.5 C 69.3-65.7
B 17% below the top class score A- 85.5-83.7 C- 65.7-63
B- 20% below the top class score B+ 83.7-81 D 63-54
C+ 23% below the top class score B 81-74.7 F All below 54
C 27% below the top class score B- 74.7-72
C- 30% below the top class score
D 40% below the top class score
F All below 40% below the top class score

Final scores if obtained in decimals will be rounded off to the next whole number.

Attendance and Participation:

Your attendance and engagement are crucial for meeting the course objectives. Without a valid justification
recognized by the instructor, you are expected to be on time and to attend all sessions. A valid excuse (with
proper documentation) includes, but is not limited to: illness, death in the family, or personal crisis.
Notification must be given before the class begins.

Cell Phone Policy: Use of cell phones and audio devices during the class is strictly prohibited. If caught,
the student will be asked to leave for the rest of the class without exceptions. If the same person is caught
again, it will result in grade degradation due to misconduct.

Laptop Policy: Use of laptops and internet in class is not allowed without prior permission from the

Students must have a GMU email address and must be able to access Blackboard
( The best way to contact the instructor is by email or during office hours.

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Extended Syllabus and schedule:
Date Day Lecture # Chapter Topic
1 JAN Tuesday 1 1 Thermodynamics Basics, units, equilibrium, cycles,
21 JAN Thursday 2 Guest lecture
26 JAN Tuesday 3 1 and 2 Pressure, Temperature, Energy, Transport, Homework
28 JAN Thursday No class
2 FEB Tuesday 4 2 Modes of energy transfer
Relationship between heat-work, 1st Law, efficiency,
4 FEB Thursday 5 2 Homework
9 FEB Tuesday 6 3 Pure substances, phase changes, property diagrams.
11 FEB Thursday 7 3 Property curves, property tables, problem solving,
16 FEB Tuesday 8 3 Ideal gas, compressibility, Homework
18 FEB Thursday 9 4 Energy Balance, specific heats
Internal Energy, Enthalpy, and Specific Heats
23 FEB Tuesday 11 4 of Ideal Gases
Internal Energy, Enthalpy, and Specific Heats
25 FEB Thursday 12 4 of Solids and Liquids, Homework
1 MAR Tuesday 13 Problem solving
3 MAR Thursday 14 EXAM 1
8 MAR Tuesday Spring Break
10 MAR Thursday Spring Break
15 MAR Tuesday 17 5 Conservation of Mass, flowing fluids
17 MAR Thursday 18 5 Energy analysis, Homework
22 MAR Tuesday 19 6 Reservoirs, heat engines
24 MAR Thursday 20 6 Hear pumps, efficiencies, problem solving
29 MAR Tuesday 21 6 2nd Law of TD
31 MAR Thursday 22 6 Perpetual machines, reversible/irreversible processes
5 APR Tuesday 23 6 Carnot cycle, engine, pump, Homework
7 APR Thursday 24 6 Problem solving
12 APR Tuesday 25 EXAM 2
14 APR Thursday 26 7 Entropy intro, entropy changes
19 APR Tuesday 27 7 Entropy of pure substances
21 APR Thursday 28 7 Entropy diagrams, problem solving
26 APR Tuesday 29 7 Entropy of solids and liquids
28 APR Thursday 30 7 Entropy of ideal gases, balance
2 MAY Tuesday 31 Group project discussion
4 MAY Thursday Group presentations
The instructor reserves the right to make any changes in the course he determines academically
advisable. Changes will be announced in class. It is your responsibility to keep up with any changed

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Student Expectations
1. Students are responsible for the content of university communications sent to their George Mason
University email account and are required to activate their account and check it regularly.
2. All communication from the university, college, school, and program will be sent to students
solely through their Mason email account.
3. Students must follow the university policy stating that all sound emitting devices shall be turned
off during class unless otherwise authorized by the instructor.
4. Students are expected to exhibit professional behavior and dispositions at all times.
5. Students are expected to write clearly and concisely in English. The George Mason University
Writing Center staff provides a variety of resources and services (e.g., tutoring, workshops,
writing guides, handbooks) intended to support students (

Advice for Success:

1. Attend class every time. Consistent regular attendance is essential for success in this course; attendance
is directly correlated to your final grade. Skipping class will lower your grade.
2. Read the syllabus. Be aware of the current assignments and exams.
3. If you are having trouble, form a study group and/or find a tutor through the tutor referral service
4. In addition, if you are having trouble, please talk to me. I may have suggestions for your success. Many
students seek help too late in the term for it to be effective.

Academic Integrity Code

Dishonesty in Examinations and Homework
Dishonesty or cheating in examinations is the use of inappropriate or unauthorized materials, information,
or study aids in a test. Unless the instructor directs otherwise, an examination is assumed to be solely a
student’s own work. No communication is allowed among students either through voice, written, electronic,
or any other form of transmission, nor are students permitted to consult books, papers, study aids or notes
without explicit permission. Dishonesty in examination includes but is not confined to copying from
another’s paper, giving or receiving unauthorized assistance, failing to hand in the exam at the end of the
class period, using electronic devices and/or modified clothing/personal items to obtain unauthorized
assistance, obtaining unauthorized advance knowledge of questions on an examination, and using
mechanical or marking devices or procedures on scratch paper or machine-graded examinations.
Dishonesty or cheating on homework includes but is not confined to plagiarism from another’s paper or
from an outside source. Dishonesty or cheating on an examination or homework assignment may result in
disciplinary actions including grade reduction and/or a formal complaint with the honor committee.
The complete policy of academic integrity for George Mason University can be found at the Office for
Academic Integrity website:

Students with Disabilities:

If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please notify me with a letter from the Office of
Disability Services so that I can make arrangements to address your needs.

WAVES: Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education and Services

WAVES promotes wellness within the Mason community through health education, alcohol/drug
assessment and education, and violence awareness, prevention and sexual assault response. We help
students make healthy, safe choices and encourage lifelong, thoughtful healthy decision-making
through individualized support, creative programming, and evidence-based education and outreach.

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WAVES office 703-993-9999
SUB I, Suite 3200
24-Hour Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Crisis Line 703-380-1434

o 703-360-7273 (Fairfax County Office for Women and Domestic and Sexual Violence
Services 25 hotline)
o 703- 228-4848 (Arlington County Domestic Violence Services Hotline)
o 703-368-4141 (Prince William County Sexual Assault Victims Advocacy Services
(SAVAS) hotline
o 1-800-838-8238 (Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline)
o 1-800-656-HOPE (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)

CAPS: Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides a wide range of free confidential services to
students, faculty, and staff. Services are provided by a staff of professional clinical psychologists,
social workers, counselors, learning specialists, and psychiatric providers. CAPS individual and
group counseling, workshops, and outreach programs are designed to enhance students’ personal
experience and academic performance.
Visit us at for additional resources.
o For consultation or emergency assistance during office hours call 703-993-2380.
o For assistance during non-office hours, call University Police at 703-993-4357.
o 703-527-4077 (CrisisLink)
o 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
o 1-877-838-2838 (Veterans' Crisis Hotline)

Student Health Services (SHS) — Provides confidential health care to enrolled students in
emergency and non-emergency circumstances on the Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William
campuses. If there is a medical emergency and Student Health Services (SHS) is closed, please
contact the free after-hours nurse ((703) 993-2831), a hospital emergency room, an urgent care
facility, or call 911.
SUB 1, Suite 2300

University Police:
Emergency: 911 Non-Emergency: (703) 993-2810
Reporting a Crime (Crime Solvers Anonymous Tip Hot-Line): (703) 993-4111
Mason Police Website:
Eric Heath, Chief of Police Phone: (703) 993-3840 E-mail:

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