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Ch 23: Thermodynamics in Physics Overview

About This Chapter

Heat energy is a part of everything we do. Join us on an exploration of thermodynamics, entropy, and enthalpy. Explore the way heat energy transfers, the effects of thermal expansion, the ideal gas law, and more.

Thermodynamics in Physics Overview - Chapter Summary

Our physics experts have created an all-encompassing thermodynamics overview unit for you. Each lesson covers a specific topic related to the science of heat energy and how it relates to both physics and chemistry. Throughout the chapter, you can study vocabulary specific to thermodynamics and review the foundational principles and laws by which heat energy abides. By the end of the chapter, you will be ready to:

  • Convert between different temperature units
  • Model and describe heat energy diagrams and curves
  • Calculate the heat capacity of a substance and explain heat efficiency
  • Compare radiation, conduction, and convection
  • Explain the importance and applications of thermal expansion
  • Apply the principles of the ideal gas law
  • Model and explain the first and second laws of thermodynamics
  • Compare entropy and enthalpy

Each lesson in this chapter is presented through a short informative video. To review main points or examples from a lesson, use the Timeline feature of the player to jump to specific tagged sections of the video. Use the lesson transcripts and quizzes which accompany each lesson to enhance your understanding and determine your level of mastery of this physics topic. Finally, be sure to track your progress through this chapter on your dashboard.

15 Lessons in Chapter 23: Thermodynamics in Physics Overview
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Temperature Units: Converting Between Kelvin and Celsius

1. Temperature Units: Converting Between Kelvin 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.

Heat Transfer Through Conduction: Equation & Examples

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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.

First Law of Thermodynamics: Law of Conservation of Energy

11. First Law of Thermodynamics: Law of Conservation of Energy

This video describes the first law of thermodynamics. Several examples of the application of this law are discussed. The significance of the law and its practical application are discussed as well.

Enthalpy: Energy Transfer in Physical and Chemical Processes

12. Enthalpy: Energy Transfer in Physical and Chemical Processes

This video explores the relationship between chemistry and energy. We learn the general properties of energy and the concepts of temperature and heat. We will learn about energy flow and consider the enthalpy change during chemical reactions.

Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy and Systems

13. Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy and Systems

In this lesson, we'll learn about the second law of thermodynamics. By studying this law, you'll understand how energy works and why we're all moving towards eventual chaos and disorder.

Entropy: Equation & Calculations

14. Entropy: Equation & Calculations

After watching this lesson, you will be able to apply the concept of entropy to real life situations and complete calculations of entropy for a closed system. A short quiz will follow.

Heat Engines & Efficiency

15. Heat Engines & Efficiency

After watching this video lesson, you will be able to explain what a heat engine is, how it works from a thermodynamic perspective, and complete some simple calculations involving the efficiency of a heat engine. A short quiz will follow.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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