Ch 11: Thermodynamics in Physics

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on thermodynamics in physics and learn about temperature units, phase changes, heat transfer, thermal expansion and more. These video lessons are short and engaging and make learning easy!

Thermodynamics in Physics - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

This chapter focuses on heat transfer and uses for the first and second laws of thermodynamics. You'll learn how to convert between Kelvin and Celsius and interpret a heating curve, then see examples for heat transfer through conduction and convection. Instructors will introduce you to the Ideal Gas Law and provide step-by-step instructions for calculating entropy of a closed system. When you've watched all the lessons in this chapter, you'll have knowledge of:

  • Relationship between temperature and heat
  • Events during a phase change
  • Importance of thermal expansion
  • Gas constant
  • Heat engines

Video Objectives
Temperature Units: Converting Between Kelvins and Celsius Explain the relationship between the Kelvin scale and Celsius scale and understand how to convert between the two scales.
Changes in Heat and Energy Diagrams Describe the relationship between temperature and heat. Discuss latent heat.
Phase Changes and Heating Curves Examine what happens during a phase change and interpret a heating curve.
How to Calculate Specific Heat Capacity for Different Substances Understand specific heat and its relationship to temperature and energy.
Heat Transfer Through Conduction: Equation & Examples Demonstrate heat transfer through conduction using an equation. Explore examples of this process.
Heat Transfer Through Convection: Natural vs. Forced Differentiate between natural convection and forced convection.
Heat Transfer Through Radiation & the Stefan-Boltzmann Law of Radiation Examine the process of heat transfer through radiation and apply the Stefan-Boltzmann Law of Radiation.
Thermal Expansion: Importance & Examples Explain how solids, liquids and gases expand with increasing temperature.
The Ideal Gas Law and the Gas Constant Explain the relationships between gas volume, temperature and pressure using the Ideal Gas equation.
Using the Ideal Gas Law: Calculate Pressure, Volume, Temperature, or Quantity of a Gas Use the ideal gas law to calculate the pressure, volume, temperature or amount of gas given the other three variables.
First Law of Thermodynamics: Law of Conservation of Energy Describe this law and explain its uses.
Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy and Systems Use examples to determine how the entropy of a system increases over time.
Entropy: Equation and Calculations Understand the equation for calculating the entropy of a closed system and perform calculations.
Heat Engines and Efficiency Explain the concept of a heat engine and the meaning of efficiency.

14 Lessons in Chapter 11: Thermodynamics in Physics
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

Describing the weather sounds different in different countries and to scientists, who use both the Kelvin scale and the Celsius scale to measure temperature in different units. Learn how temperature is measured differently above absolute zero and how to convert between the Fahrenheit scale, Celsius scale, and Kelvin scale.

Changes in Heat and Energy Diagrams

2. Changes in Heat and Energy Diagrams

Temperature and heat are not the same. Learn about the definitions of both temperature and heat, as well as how energy relates to each, and visualize the differences and relationships between the two in the diagrams provided.

Phase Changes and Heating Curves

3. Phase Changes and Heating Curves

Phase changes occur when a substance changes from one state, such as solid, liquid, gas, or plasma, to another, based on certain conditions. Learn about the six phase changes--freezing and melting, sublimation and deposition, vaporization and condensation--and understand the heating curve.

How to Calculate Specific Heat Capacity for Different Substances

4. How to Calculate Specific Heat Capacity for Different Substances

Different substances have different heat capacities, which are all calculated differently. This lesson explains the difference between heat and temperature, as well as how to calculate specific heat capacity and apply it to everyday life, in aspects such as your body water.

Heat Transfer Through Conduction: Equation & Examples

5. Heat Transfer Through Conduction: Equation & Examples

Conduction is the transfer of heat through direct contact between two objects. Learn more about the definition of heat transfer through conduction and how to apply the conduction equation through example calculations.

Heat Transfer Through Convection: Natural vs. Forced

6. Heat Transfer Through Convection: Natural vs. Forced

Convection occurs when a temperature difference happens between two parts of a fluid, liquid or gas, and the part of the fluid rises and the cooler part sinks. Learn more about heat transfer through convection, natural versus forced convection, and read examples.

Radiation, Heat Transfer & the Stefan-Boltzmann Law

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

Radiation is a form of heat transfer that can be calculated using the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. Learn what radiation is, explore the vacuum flask example of radiation, then learn to explain the Stefan-Boltzmann law before applying it to a calculation example.

Thermal Expansion: Importance & Examples

8. Thermal Expansion: Importance & Examples

Thermal expansion refers to the expansion of materials when they are heated. Learn the reason for thermal expansion, and explore examples of thermal expansion in everyday life. Learn the thermal expansion equation, and how to make a calculation of thermal expansion.

The Ideal Gas Law and the Gas Constant

9. The Ideal Gas Law and the Gas Constant

The ideal gas law can be used to predict real gas behavior. Learn about this law, including its equation, and understand how to use the equation to solve a gas problem. Explore the concepts used by the ideal gas law such as the gas constant.

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

The equation for the ideal gas law is PV = nRT. Learn how to use this equation to solve for the pressure in the atmosphere, volume in liters, number of particles in moles, the temperature in Kelvin, and the ideal gas constant.

First Law of Thermodynamics: Law of Conservation of Energy

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

The first law of thermodynamics, also known as the law of conservation of energy, says that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Explore the first law of thermodynamics, see how energy can only be transformed but not created or destroyed, and discover some examples of the practical application of this law.

Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy and Systems

12. Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy and Systems

It is important to observe all the elements that impacted the Big Bang Theory and the laws of thermodynamics. Specifically, the second law of thermodynamics involves entropy and systems. This lesson explores this law of thermodynamics, including its systems, implications, and practical applications.

Entropy: Equation & Calculations

13. Entropy: Equation & Calculations

Entropy is the state of disorder or randomness of a system. Learn more about entropy and understand how to use the entropy equation through the example calculation.

Heat Engines & Efficiency

14. Heat Engines & Efficiency

Any engine that uses heat transfer to cause the physical motion of an object can be described as an example of a heat engine. Learn more about the various types of heat engines, the second law of thermodynamics, and the formulas used in calculating the energy efficiency of heat engines.

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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