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Know Your Thermodynamic Systems

P M V Subbarao
Mechanical Engineering Department
I I T Delhi

A Thorough Understanding of Your System will

Make you An Outstanding Innovator…
What is Inside Your System?
• Every Learner is a Blind Person.
First Level of Knowledge about System : Substance
& Purity
• Matter: Distinct chemical species.
– single component – pure substance
– two components – binary system
• A pure substance can become a binary system:
– example: water or steam under normal conditions is a
single component; but at very high temperatures, H2O
dissociates and becomes a two-component system – the
components are H and O (binary)
• A binary system can be treated as a single component:
– O2 and N2 in air under normal conditions can be
considered as a single component, “air”.
• Multi-component systems: three or more interacting
chemical species
Nature of Substance working for Extrasomatic Cause

• Any substance working for Extrasomatic cause is titled as

working susbstance in thermodynamics.
• Simple working Substance
• A simple system is one in which the effects of motion,
viscosity, fluid shear, capillarity, anisotropic stress, and
external force fields donot affect the primitive characteristics.
• Homogeneous Substance:
• A substance that has uniform thermodynamic properties
throughout is said to be homogeneous.
• Pure Substance:
• A working substance which has a homogeneous and invariable
chemical composition and may exist in more than one phase is
titled as Pure Substance.
Superiority of A Thermodynamic Device

• A thermodynamic device can be identified as a superior

device, if pure substance works inside this device to satisfy
the extrasomatic needs with better efficiency & Eco-
• Better efficiency is achieved when lower quantities of
resource is consumed by this device.
• Eco-affability is achieved when lower levels of damage is
made to surroundings by this device.
• How to select a right substance as working substance???
New Ideas for Same Desire
• Development of A Display system for A Computer

What fundamental quality of the substance is to be identified

to select right candidate as working substance?
Knowledge of Substance for Design of Artificial
Heart Valves
Second Level of Knowledge : Phases
• Phase: A phase is state of aggregation.
• A substance in a given phase will have the same physical
properties throughout.
• How many different phases can we think of?
– Vapor, Liquid and Solid (many different forms
depending on crystal symmetry)
New Phases
• Liquid Crystal
Nematic, Smectic and Cholesteric

• Plasma (electrons separated from nuclei)

• Super fluid (e.g., Liquid He)
• Glass (actually a fluid state)
• A system may have any number of solid phases, any
number of liquid phases, but usually only one gas phase.
Is this knowledge Sufficient ???

What More ????

How to do Engineering with this Knowledge????

“ When you can measure what you are
speaking about, and express it in numbers,
you know something about it;
but when you cannot measure it in numbers,
your knowledge is of a meagre and
unsatisfactory kind . . . ”.

•-- Lord Kelvin

Great Benefits through Quantitative Description of
Change of Phase


The Methodology of Quantification of Knowledge

• Thermodynamics deals with changes in the system.

• Measures for identifying these changes are necessary.
• This will help in estimating the ability of the system.
• The measures are generally based on some characteristics.
• The numerical values of characteristics will completely
describe the system.
Numerical Description of Substance
• The behavior of a system may be numerically described in
either a microscopic or a macroscopic point of view.
• Microscopic Description.
Microscopic Description of A System
• A System consists of Substance.
• A collection of Atoms or molecules.
• Each Atom/molecule can be described by its position, velocity,
• Every characteristic of a substance is due to these kinematic
properties of atoms/molecules.
• Collective description of atoms/molecules is the description of
• Each atom requires three equations for the description of position
and three equations for the description of velocity.
• Computationally very intensive.
• Sciences namely, Kinetic Theory and Statistical
Thermodynamics use Probability Theory to get a representative
numerical description.
• This is a true description of system but impractical.
Quantification of Knowledge thru Microscopic
What is the Engineering Sense of this Peculiar Velocity?
• Useful in computing average kinetic energy of atoms in a system.

1 n
 ii
2 i 1
m v 2

i 1

• When atoms/molecules collide they tend on the average, to

equalize kinetic energy spreads equally over all atoms.
• Same may happen when molecules of one system collide with
molecules of another system.
• This describes a natural tendency of a system to reach
equilibrium with surroundings.
• Can we promote this tendency?