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Unit: Thermodynamics

About this unit

Heat can be useful, but it can also be annoying. Understanding heat and the flow of heat allows us to build heat sinks that prevent our computers from overheating, build better engines, and prevent freeway overpasses from cracking.
In these videos and articles you'll learn about the Celsius and Kelvin temperature scales. The definition of a mole of a substance will be given. You'll also learn how the ideal gas law relates the pressure, volume, and temperature of a gas. Lastly, you'll learn how the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution gives the probability of finding a gas molecule moving at a specific speed.
In these videos and articles you'll learn the definition of specific heat and latent heat and how to use them in problem solving. You'll also learn the 3 modes of heat transfer; conduction, convection, and radiation. Lastly, we will look in more depth at how the rate of thermal conduction through a material depends on the material's thickness, conductivity constant, area, and difference in temperature.
In these videos and articles you'll learn how the first law of thermodynamics relates the change in internal energy of a gas, heat that enters the gas, and work done on the gas. PV diagrams will be discussed, as well as the four common thermal processes: isobaric, isochoric/isovolumetric, isothermal, and adiabatic. You'll also learn about how the second law of thermodynamics relates the entropy change to the multiplicity of microstates and the heat that enters a macroscopic system. The efficiency of a heat engine will also be explained.
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