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21-Introduction to Thermodynamics

# 21-Introduction to Thermodynamics - Introduction to...

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Introduction to Thermodynamics B. A. Rowland 53750/53760 What is Energy? In this class, we will define energy as the ability to produce work (w) or heat (q) . Energy is a conserved quantity, which means it can never be created or destroyed, just converted among its various forms. This is a statement of the Law of Conservation of Energy. We can classify energy into two types: Kinetic (the energy due to an object's motion) and Potential (the energy due to an object's composition or position ). In chemical systems, we will be concerned with Kinetic and Potential energy. The Kinetic Energy in a chemical system manifests itself as the system Temperature (see lecture on KMT), while the potential energy is bound up in the chemical bonds (composition). System v. Surroundings In thermodynamics, we can partition the entire universe into a system and the surroundings (Universe = System + Surroundings). The system is defined as the part of the universe where the interesting process (say, a chemical reaction in a beaker or a gas in a piston) is occurring; everything else (me, you, the apparatus, the sun, etc.) is defined as the surroundings. It is important to note that the frame of reference for thermodynamical calculations is the system . It would seem that we would take the viewpoint from the surroundings (since that is where the observer (you) is). However, the convention is to view things from the point of the system, and that is how we shall do it.

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