Energy Transfer and Thermodynamics – Assignment Example

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The paper “ Energy Transfer and Thermodynamics”   is a meaty version of the assignment on physics. The laws of thermodynamics are the zeroth law of thermodynamics, the first, the second, and the third laws of thermodynamics. The zeroth law of thermodynamics states that “ if two systems are both in thermal equilibrium with a third system, they are also in thermal equilibrium with each other” (Grote & Antonsson, 2009, p. 225). It means that if two systems come into contact with one another, then heat exchange occurs so that thermal equilibrium is achieved. The zeroth law highlights thermal equilibrium among systems as a transitive relation.

This law inspired the concept of temperature (Moran & Shapiro, 2006, p. 14) and the development of a thermometer as a tool for measuring temperature (Grote & Antonsson, 2009, p. 226). If T(A) = T(B) and T(B) = T(C), Then T(A) = T(C), Where T(A), T(B), and T(C) are a temperature for systems A, B, and C respectively. The first law of thermodynamics describes the principle of energy conservation. It says that energy is neither created nor destroyed, but changes from one state to another (Wu, 2007, p.

2). It means that the sum of energy of a process within an isolated system remains the same (Roy, 2002, p. 45). The law is expressed mathematically as follow, Δ E = Q + W, Where Δ E is changing in internal energy, Q is heat flow heat into or out of the system, and W is work done. A positive sign is used before W to show work done on the system, a negative sign is used when work is done by the system. The second law of thermodynamics states that "in all energy exchanges if no energy enters or leaves the system, the potential energy of the final state will always be less than that of the initial state" (Razeghi, 2006, p.

508). It means that it is not possible to convert all heat energy into work. In other words, every time energy is transformed or transferred, some of this energy, and at some point, all the energy becomes less useful. The law also implies that entropy of a closed system can either increase or remain constant, but not decrease. S > 0, or S = 0,Where S is entropy. The third law of thermodynamics states that “ as a system approaches absolute zero, all processes cease and the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value” (Rauchfuss, 2008, p.

239). As T → 0K, S → 0,Where T is temperature, and S is entropy. Definition of entropy, explanation of what happens to the motion of water molecules when the ice melts into water, and what happens to the entropy in this situation. Entropy is basically a measure of the disorder, or randomness, in a thermodynamic system.

It is also defined as a measure of the amount of energy in a thermodynamic system that cannot perform work. It is expressed mathematically as, S = k ln W, Where S is entropy, k is Boltzmann’ s constant (1.381 * 10-23), and ln W is simply the number of ways the system can be arranged (Pickover, 2008, p. 324).

Reference

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Moran, M.J., & Shapiro, H.N., 2006. Fundamentals of engineering thermodynamics. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Pickover, C. A. 2008. Archimedes to Hawking: laws of science and the great minds behind them. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rauchfuss, H. (2008). Chemical evolution and the origin of life. Tokyo: Springer Japan.

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