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MSE 2103

Thermodynamics of Materials

The Structure of Thermodynamics

Sadi Md. Shahriar

Lecturer, Department of MSE
KUET, Bangladesh
The structure of thermodynamics
The science of thermodynamics is rooted with logics and
At its foundation, there are a very few, very general, and
therefore very powerful, principles: the laws of
From these few principles, predictions about the behavior
of a matter in a broad range of human experience can be
An understanding of how matter behaves in every situation
rests directly upon these laws

The laws apply to the universe as a whole in their simplest
and most general form:
1) Energy, a property of the universe, cannot change no
matter what processes occur in the universe
2) Entropy, a property of the universe, can only change in
one direction no matter what processes occur in the
3) A universal absolute temperature scale exists and has a
minimum value (absolute zero), and the entropy of all
substances is the same at that temperature

In practice, the focus of
thermodynamics is on a subset of
the universe called system
It is necessary to be explicit about
content of the system, and specific
location and character of its
Condition of the system at the
time of investigation is specified in
terms of thermodynamic
As the system is passed through a
process, its properties experience

A very common application of thermodynamics is a calculation
of the changes that occur in properties of some specified
system as it is taken through some specified process
 Hence, deduction of thermodynamic relationships between the
properties of a system is an important aspect in

 Understanding of the structure of thermodynamics is greatly

paved by a series of classifications:
o Thermodynamic systems
o Thermodynamic properties
o Thermodynamic relationships
Classification of thermodynamic systems
1. Unary vs. multicomponent
 This category identifies the complexity of the chemistry of the
 Unary- only one chemical component. Example: Quartz (SiO2)
 Multicomponent- more than one chemical component.
Example: Steel bar

2. Homogeneous vs. heterogeneous

 Homogeneous- single phase. Example: Ice
 Heterogeneous- more than one phase. Example: A mixture of
water and ice

Classification of thermodynamic systems
3. Closed vs. open
 Closed- exchange of matter but not energy with its surroundings.
Example: A piece of paper
 Open- exchange of both energy and matter with its
surroundings. Example: A cup of tea
 Isolated- exchange of neither matter nor energy across the
boundary. Example: Hot water in thermos flask

Classification of thermodynamic systems
4. Nonreacting vs. reacting
 Nonreacting- no chemical reaction within. Example: sugar-water
solution in a glass
 Reacting- involves chemical reaction. Example: A piece of
aluminum in sodium hydroxide solution

5. Otherwise simple vs. complex

 Otherwise simple- no other kind of energy exchange other than
those arising from thermal, mechanical, or chemical changes
 Complex- additional energy exchange arising from gravitational,
electrical, magnetic, surface influences etc.

Classification of thermodynamic systems
Self Assessment Question
Classify the following thermodynamic systems :
(a) a solid bar of copper
(b) a glass of ice water
(c) a yttria-stabilised zirconia furnace tube
(d) a styrofoam coffee cup
(e) a eutectic alloy water turbine blade rotating at 1000 rpm