Introduction to Thermodynamics 1

What is thermodynamics:

Thermodynamics is a science and, more importantly, an engineering tool used to describe processes that involve changes in temperature, transformation of energy, and the relationships between heat and work.

Thermodynamics is concerned with the ways energy is stored within a body and how energy transformations, which involve heat and work, may take place.  One of the most fundamental laws of nature is the conservation of energy principle.  It simply states that during an energy interaction, energy can change from one form to another but the total amount of energy remains constant.  That is, energy cannot be created or destroyed.


Any characteristic of a system in equilibrium is called a property.  The property is independent of the path used to arrive at the system condition. Some thermodynamic properties are pressure P, temperature T, volume V, and mass m.

Properties may be intensive or extensive.

Extensive properties are those that vary directly with size or extent of the system. Some Extensive Properties

  1. mass
  2. volume
  3. total energy
  4. mass dependent property.

Intensive properties are those that are independent of size or the amount of material in the system

Some Intensive Properties

  1. temperature
  2. pressure
  3. age
  4. color
  5. any mass independent property


Extensive properties per unit mass are intensive properties. For example, the specific volume v, defined as


and density ρ, defined as;


are intensive properties.

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