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ThermodynamicsA complete undergraduate course$
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Andrew M. Steane

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198788560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198788560.001.0001

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First Law, internal energy

First Law, internal energy

(p.70) 7 First Law, internal energy

Andrew M. Steane

Oxford University Press

The first law of thermodynamics is discussed at length, and ideas and methods based on work and energy are discussed. First the definition of the first law in terms of work in adiathermal conditions is explained, with Joule’s experiments for illustration. From this internal energy, and then heat, are defined. Hence the differential expression of the first law is obtained. The calculation of work for a pV system is explained. Heat capacities are defined, and the energy equation is defined in general, and obtained for an ideal gas. The relationship between compressibilities and heat capacities is obtained. Free expansion and adiabatic expansion are described. Finally, a general method for solving one class of thermodynamic problems is described and illustrated.

Keywords:   First law, Joule, free expansion, adiabatic, heat capacity, compressibility, energy equation, problem solving

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