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Thermodynamics = ‘Therme’ + ‘Dynamics’ 

‘Therme’ refers to Heat

‘Dynamics’ refers to Energy
In the initial stage of development of this subject, the
primary objective was to extract the useful energy from
Heat (using heat engine), so this name was appropriate
but now Thermodynamics includes different types of
energy interactions.

As far as practical applications are concerned, there are a

LOT. Our body itself is a thermodynamic system which
gets energy by eating food, spends energy by working and
the unspent energy is stored in the form of fat (mass).

Difference between Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer:

Thermodynamics deals with the systems in equilibrium
and quantity of energy interaction. It will tell that the body
rejects a particular amount of heat.

Heat transfer also tells how much time is taken to reject

that particular amount of heat, so heat transfer deals with
the rate of energy interaction.

Means whenever we are dealing with any problem in

thermodynamics the system in consideration will be in
thermodynamic equilibrium .

If I want to analyse a person from this group.

What would be the first thing that I need to do? To define
that person whom I want to analyse. Which person among
this group? The one on the extreme left? Or the extreme
In a similar way, before studying any region in space, we
need to define the region upon which the study is focused.
That particular region in known as SYSTEM.

Anything ‘mentioned’ external to the system is known as

surroundings. The word ‘mentioned’ is important. See why.
In the figure below, I want to find the heat lost by rigid
vessel A.
Tell me what is system and what is surrounding in the
System + Surrounding = Universe

Boundary: The region between system and surrounding is

known as boundary.
It can be classified as shown in the image below.

Rigid Boundary: Suppose you want to calculate the

amount of heat being added to a closed room in one day,
you will of course choose this room as the system. And
the boundary of this system is rigid (fixed, do not move).

Movable Boundary: If you want to calculate the amount of

heat rejected from the gas in a Piston-cylinder
arrangement, you would choose the gas inside the
cylinder-piston arrangement as system. If the piston
moves and gas expands, system will move along with the
gas. Why?
Because we want to focus on the gas in the system. If
gas moves and takes up a new space, system will also
move. This is an example of moving system.
See the image attached. Process A shows correctly that
system also move along with the piston. Process B in an
incorrect depiction.

Real boundary : If you consider a hot potato as a

system, it is a real boundary system.
Imaginary boundary: If you consider the atmosphere as a
system, there is no real boundary defining it.
Ans: B

Example of each of open, closed and isolated system. Be


Open: heat exchanger closed:piston-cylinder

without valves

Isolated- hot coffee kept in thermo flask open- steam


 Open - turbine,closed-refrigeration cycle,isolated-


Open- pressure cooker with open whistle ; 

Closed- pressure cooker with closed whistle
Isolated- milton thermo flask can be assumed

Open System- water cycle

CAUTION: Many students confuse energy interaction with

heat interaction. It includes work interaction as well.

Doubt: Sir if there is heat interaction,, then there

has to be work interaction?

Ans.: Not necessary.

Example: Heating of water. Only heat interaction

 Both heat and work are form of energy and unit is joule 


ANS: A, B, C

Open systems are sometimes referred to as Control

Volume since in open system mass flows in and out of a
particular region/volume in space.
Closed systems are sometimes referred to as Control
Mass since in closed system no mass flows in and out and
mass is fixed (controlled).

Thermodynamic Equilibrium:
A body is said to be in thermodynamic equilibrium if it is in
following three equilibriums:
1. Thermal equilibrium: When there is no heat flow
in the system driven by temperature difference
2. Mechanical equilibrium: When there is no motion
inside the system driven by pressure difference
3. Chemical equilibrium: When there is no chemical
reaction occurring which changes the chemical
composition of the system.

What happens when water is heated???

----- Heating of water is a transient condition. System in
not at equilibrium during the process 

Can we say that if a systen is isolated system then it must

be in thermodynamic equilibrium.

No practically. Universe is an isolated system but it is not

in thermal equilibrium internally

Now I am telling you a thing which is rarely explained in


A system is said to be in thermal equilibrium if

temperature at all points within the system is same.

Thermal equilibrium between two bodies is different from

the thermal equilibrium of a system.


There is an adiabatic wall in the system. Left side A at T1.

Right side B at T2.

But no heat flows since wall between them is adiabatic. T

is not same throughout (system is A+B) still the sys is at
thermal equilibrium.

Black boundary is system. It is divided into two parts by

blue one. But blue does not allow heat to flow across

 Why are we considering these adiabatic wall .

 Because T within black boundary is not same but since

heat is not able to flow it is in thermal eq

means that if temp. is same throuhout then the system is

always in thermal eqbm but if temp is not same then it
may or may not be in thermal eqbm depending on


PROPERTIES of a system:

Properties are characteristics of a system like Pressure

(P), Temperature (T), Volume (V), mass (m), density (ρ),
Properties are of two types:
1. Intensive: Properties which do not depend upon the
extent/mass of the system and they will remain same even
if you divided the system in two parts.
2. Extensive: Properties which depend upon the
extent/mass of the system and they will change if you
divided the system in two parts.

Can you name one intensive and one extensive property?

Specific Property: It is a special case of intensive


See the image attached.

If you divide the system in two parts, numerator will get
But denominator is mass, so it will also get halved in
dividing the system, so the ratio will remain same.
Hence it is become an intensive property.
Example: Specific Volume (V/m), Specific energy (E/m), etc

State of a system:
When a system is at thermodynamic equilibrium, there is
no change in the properties. Right? This condition of
system is known as STATE.
If it is written that system is in a particular state, it means
that the value of properties is fixed.
There are NUMEROUS properties which can be defined for
a system, pressure, temperature, volume, density, specific
energy, internal energy, enthalpy, entropy, etc.
So if we want to tell someone the state of a system, do we
have to tell them all???
Obv no. It is not practical.

So how many properties are sufficient? This is given by

According to State Postulate: “The state of a simple
compressible system is completely specified by TWO
independent, intensive properties.”
What is a simple compressible system? It is a system
away from the electrical, magnetic, gravitational and
surface tension effects.

Now I will tell you the reason why almost everywhere it is

said that if Temp is same then thermal. Concept is linked.
First go through this.
See image attached. I am sure you have seen P-v, T-s
diagrams. Such diagrams are known as property diagram.
Note that only two properties are to completely define a
state as mentioned by State Postulate.
Any point on the property diagram is a state since it has a
fixed coordinates (fixed properties).
Is human body a closed system or open system?

Ans: Open system