Ch 16: Basics of Thermodynamics in Physics

About This Chapter

Study the basics of thermodynamics in physics with this convenient online chapter. You can work through these lessons and quizzes to boost your physics knowledge, study for a test, catch up in class or simply learn about thermodynamics for fun.

Basics of Thermodynamics in Physics - Chapter Summary

This chapter is designed to solidify your understanding of basic thermodynamics concepts in physics. As you progress through this collection of engaging lessons, you'll review temperature conversions, specific heat capacity, latent heat, thermal expansion, the ideal gas law and much more. We've included short self-assessment quizzes to help you reinforce your understanding of the chapter topics. Use any Internet-connected device to study, and access the chapter at any time that fits your schedule. Completing this chapter can help you:

  • Convert between kelvins and Celsius temperature units
  • Interpret heat and energy diagrams, heating curves and phase changes
  • Calculate specific heat capacity for various substances
  • Use the formula for latent heat
  • Explain the transfer of heat through conduction and convection
  • Summarize the Stefan-Boltzmann law
  • Assess the importance of thermal expansion
  • Define and use the ideal gas law

11 Lessons in Chapter 16: Basics of Thermodynamics in Physics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Temperature Units: Converting Between Kelvins and Celsius

1. Temperature Units: Converting Between Kelvins and Celsius

Have you ever wondered what the lowest possible temperature is? In this lesson, you will learn what temperature measures. You will also be introduced to the Kelvin scale (an absolute scale) and learn how it relates to the Celsius scale.

Changes in Heat and Energy Diagrams

2. Changes in Heat and Energy Diagrams

Did you know that temperature and heat are not the same thing? Did you know that the temperature of water doesn't change when it boils? This lesson describes the relationship between heat and temperature. Diagrams are used to illustrate the relationship between heat and temperature during phase changes.

Phase Changes and Heating Curves

3. Phase Changes and Heating Curves

Learn the phases - gas, liquid, solid and plasma. Learn what a phase diagram is and what terms describe the movement between phases: melting, sublimating, freezing, vaporization, condensation, and deposition. Discover why heating curves have plateaus, what a phase transition is, and what happens during this transition.

How to Calculate Specific Heat Capacity for Different Substances

4. How to Calculate Specific Heat Capacity for Different Substances

This lesson describes specific heat capacity and explains how the specific heat capacity of water helps to maintain a relatively constant temperature in nature. Learn how to identify the specific heat capacity of other common materials and how to calculate specific heat capacity with an experiment.

Latent Heat: Definition, Formula & Examples

5. Latent Heat: Definition, Formula & Examples

Heat is an important component of phase changes. This lesson will delve into the concept of latent heat and how it affects of the behavior of matter during phase changes.

Heat Transfer Through Conduction: Equation & Examples

6. Heat Transfer Through Conduction: Equation & Examples

After watching this lesson, you should be able to explain how heat transfers by conduction, give examples of conduction and complete conduction calculations. A short quiz will follow.

Heat Transfer Through Convection: Natural vs. Forced

7. Heat Transfer Through Convection: Natural vs. Forced

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what convection is, both natural and forced, give some examples of convection, and complete some basic calculations. A short quiz will follow.

Radiation, Heat Transfer & the Stefan-Boltzmann Law

8. Radiation, Heat Transfer & the Stefan-Boltzmann Law

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain how radiative heat transfer works, give some real-life examples of radiation, and use the Stefan-Boltzmann Law to complete radiation calculations. A short quiz will follow.

Thermal Expansion: Importance & Examples

9. Thermal Expansion: Importance & Examples

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what thermal expansion is, why it is important, provide some examples of thermal expansion in real life and complete basic thermal expansion calculations. A short quiz will follow.

The Ideal Gas Law and the Gas Constant

10. The Ideal Gas Law and the Gas Constant

Have you ever wondered why the pressure in your car's tires is higher after you have been driving a while? In this lesson, we are going to discuss the law that governs ideal gases and is used to predict the behavior of real gases: the ideal gas law.

Using the Ideal Gas Law: Calculate Pressure, Volume, Temperature, or Quantity of a Gas

11. Using the Ideal Gas Law: Calculate Pressure, Volume, Temperature, or Quantity of a Gas

In another lesson, you learned that the ideal gas law is expressed as PV = nRT. In this video lesson, we'll go one step further, examining how to rearrange the equation to solve for a missing variable when the others are known.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support