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What is Thermodynamics?

March 21, 2012  by: Ankit Neerav  Points: 12   Category: General Science  Earning $0.50   Views: 865

Thermodynamics- definition, importance, the laws and limitations.

         

Definition of Thermodynamics.


The word Thermodynamics is formed by the combination of two words: therm, which means heat and dynamics which means motion. Therefore thermodynamics is the branch of science which involves the study of motion of heat and its interconversion in to work. It also studies the quantitative relationship and the other existing forms of energy.

The Basis.


Thermodynamics is mathematical in nature and its quantitative study of heat and its transfer is based on the three basic laws of thermodynamics. These three laws are based on our experiences with heat and heat transfer and their exists no valid proof for them apart from the reasoning that they are always found to hold true in all observed phenomena and we have no reason to suspect otherwise.

The Importance of Thermodynamics.


Today, thermodynamics finds applications in fields ranging from biochemistry and automobile engineering to mining and space exploration. This wide application of thermodynamics results from its ability to provide certain useful and accurate information to us. These are:

1. It can predict the feasibility of a physical or chemical process, meaning whether a process can occur under a given set of conditions. It can be of immense value to an engineer or a scientist to know the feasibility of a chemical reaction or a physical process by mathematical calculations before they are performed.

2. It can predict the yield of the product. Thermodynamics establishes a relationship between the reactants and products of a process or chemical reaction which can be used to calculate yield of the product.

3. Deductions and generalizations in chemistry can be made by thermodynamics. These include distribution law, phase rule, Raoults law and others.

The Three Laws.


First law of thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed by any physical or chemical change. It can only be changed from one form to another.
Second law of thermodynamics states that heat cannot be completely converted into work without leaving changes in either the system or the surrounding.
The third law of thermodynamics states that entropy of all pure substance crystalline solids may be taken as zero at the absolute zero of temperature.

The Limitations of Thermodynamics.



1. These laws do not apply to individual atoms or molecules.

2. It does not tell us the rate of reaction for a chemical reaction.

3. It cannot explain the mechanism of a chemical reaction.




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