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Definition, Meaning and Application of

The name thermodynamics stems from the Greek words thermo

(heat) and dynamics (power), which is most descriptive of the early
efforts to convert heat into power.
Today the same name is broadly interpreted to include all aspects of
energy and energy transformations, including power generation,
refrigeration, and relationships among the properties of matter.
Thermodynamics is the branch of physical science that deals with
the various phenomena of energy and related properties of matter,
especially of the laws of transformations of heat into other forms of
energy and vice-versa.
Or in simple words Thermodynamics is a branch of science which
deals with energy.
For analyzing any system, there are basically two approaches available
in engineering thermodynamics
 Macroscopic (Classical thermodynamics) is the one in which
complete system as a whole is considered and studied without
caring for what is there constituting the system at microscopic level.
• study large number of particles (molecules) that make up the
substance in question
• does not require knowledge of the behavior of individual
 Microscopic (Statistical thermodynamics) is one having
fragmented the system under consideration up to microscopic level
and analyzing the different constituent subsystems or
• concerned within behavior of individual particles (molecules)
• study average behavior of large groups of individual particles
Concepts and Definitions (Vocabulary)
 Thermodynamic system is the quantity of matter or a region of space
chosen for study.
 Surroundings is the physical space outside the system or it is defined as
every thing that surrounds the system.
 Boundary is real or imaginary layer that separates the system from its
 Universe is the system and its surroundings together.

= Universe

Fig. 1.1 System, Surroundings, Boundary and Universe 
Application of thermodynamics
Application of thermodynamics
Application of thermodynamics
Application of thermodynamics
Thermodynamic systems
 Based on the energy and mass interactions of the systems
with surroundings/other systems across the boundary the
system can be classified as the open, close, and isolated
 Open system is the one in which energy and mass interactions
take place at the system boundary, for example automobile
 Closed system is the one in which only energy interactions
take place at its boundary, for example boiling water in a
closed pan.
 Isolated system is the one in which neither mass interaction
nor energy interaction take place across the system boundary,
for example Thermos Flask
Thermodynamic Properties
 Any characteristic of a system in equilibrium is called a property.
 Some familiar properties are pressure P, temperature T, volume V,
and mass m.
 Extensive properties are properties that vary directly with the size
of the system.
Examples: volume, mass, total energy
 Intensive properties are properties that are independent of the size
of the system.
Examples: temperature, pressure, color
State & Equilibrium
 If a system is Considered as not undergoing any change then all
the properties can be measured or calculated throughout the
entire system which gives us a set of properties that completely
describes the condition. At this point its said a state of the
 State Postulate
– The thermodynamic state of a simple compressible substance
is completely specified by two independent intensive

 The word equilibrium implies a state of balance.

 In an equilibrium state there are no unbalanced potentials (or
driving forces) within the system.
 Thermal equilibrium is when the temperature is the same
throughout the entire system.
 Mechanical equilibrium is related to pressure, and a system is in
mechanical equilibrium if there is no change in pressure at any
point of the system with time.
 If a system involves two phases, it is in phase equilibrium when
the mass of each phase reaches an equilibrium level and stays
 A system is in Chemical equilibrium if its chemical composition
does not change with time, that is, no chemical reactions occur.
 A system is in Thermodynamic equilibrium when the conditions
of all the relevant types of equilibrium are satisfied.
Processes & cycle
 Any change that a system undergoes from one equilibrium state to
another is called a process.
 The series of states through which a system passes during a
process is called the path of the process.
 some special processes:
• isobaric process - constant pressure process
• isothermal process - constant temperature process
• isochoric process - constant volume process
• isentropic process - constant entropy process
 A Cycle process is a process (or a series of connected processes) in
which the initial state and final state are identical.
P 2 B

 A Process


 A Cyclic process
 When a process proceeds in such a manner that the system remains
infinitesimally close to an equilibrium state at all times, it is called a
quasistatic, or quasi-equilibrium, process.
 A quasi-equilibrium process can be viewed as a sufficiently slow
process that allows the system to adjust itself internally so that
properties in one part of the system do not change any faster than
those at other parts.
 When a gas in a piston-cylinder device is compressed suddenly, the
molecules near the face of the piston will not have enough time to
escape and they will have to pile up in a small region in front of the
piston, thus creating a high-pressure region there and is not in
equilibrium However, if the piston is moved slowly, the molecules
will have sufficient time to redistribute and the pressure inside will
rise at the same rate at all locations. Since equilibrium is maintained
at all times, this is a quasi-equilibrium process.
Steady flow processes
 The term steady implies no change with time.
 The opposite of steady is unsteady, or transient.
 The term uniform implies no change with location over a
specified region.
 large number of engineering devices operate for long periods
of time under the same conditions, and they are classified as
steady-flow devices.
 Processes involving such devices can be represented
reasonably well by a somewhat idealized process, called the
steady-flow process, which can be defined as a process
during which a fluid flows through a control volume steadily.
 During a steady­flow process, fluid properties within the control 
volume may change with position but not with time.