6.2.1 Work

  First of all, let us concentrate on the nature of work a system can do. We will consider only mechanical work i.e., pressure-volume work. For understanding pressure-volume work, let us consider a cylinder which contains one mole of an ideal gas fitted with a frictionless piston. Total volume of the gas is Vi and pressure of the gas inside is p. If external pressure is pex which is greater than p, piston is moved inward till the pressure inside becomes equal to pex. Let this change be achieved in a…

6.1.4 The Internal Energy as a State Function

When we talk about our chemical system losing or gaining energy, we need to introduce a quantity which represents the total energy of the system. It may be chemical, electrical, mechanical or any other type of energy you may think of, the sum of all these is the energy of the system. In thermodynamics, we call it the internal energy, U of the system, which may change, when heat passes into or out of the system work is done on or by the system matter enters or leaves the system…

6.1.3 The State of the System

The system must be described in order to make any useful calculations by specifying quantitatively each of the properties such as its pressure (p), volume (V), and temperature (T ) as well as the composition of the system. We need to describe the system by specifying it before and after the change. You would recall from your Physics course that the state of a system in mechanics is completely specified at a given instant of time, by the position and velocity of each mass point of the system. In thermodynamics,…

6.1.2 Types of the System

We, further classify the systems according to the movements of matter and energy in or out of the system. Open System In an open system, there is exchange of energy and matter between system and surroundings. The presence of reactants in an open beaker is an example of an open system*. Here the boundary is an imaginary surface enclosing the beaker and reactants.   Closed System In a closed system, there is no exchange of matter, but exchange of energy is possible between system and the surroundings. The presence of…

6.1.1 The System and the Surroundings

A system in thermodynamics refers to that part of universe in which observations are made and remaining universe constitutes the surroundings. The surroundings include everything other than the system. System and the surroundings together constitute the universe . The universe = The system + The surroundings However, the entire universe other than the system is not affected by the changes taking place in the system. Therefore, for all practical purposes, the surroundings are that portion of the remaining universe which can interact with the system. Usually, the region of space…

Unit 6 – Thermodynamics

Chemical energy stored by molecules can be released as heat during chemical reactions when a fuel like methane, cooking gas or coal burns in air. The chemical energy may also be used to do mechanical work when a fuel burns in an engine or to provide electrical energy through a galvanic cell like dry cell. Thus, various forms of energy are interrelated and under certain conditions, these may be transformed from one form into another. The study of these energy transformations forms the subject matter of thermodynamics. The laws of…

Physics, Technology and Society

The connection between physics, technology and society can be seen in many examples. The discipline of thermodynamics arose from the need to understand and improve the working of heat engines. The steam engine, as we know, is inseparable from the Industrial Revolution in England in the eighteenth century, which had great impact on the course of human civilisation. Sometimes technology gives rise to new physics; at other times physics generates new technology. An example of the latter is the wireless communication technology that followed the discovery of the basic laws…

Unit 5 – States Of Matter – Summary

Intermolecular forces operate between the particles of matter. These forces differ from pure electrostatic forces that exist between two oppositely charged ions. Also, these do not include forces that hold atoms of a covalent molecule together through covalent bond. Competition between thermal energy and intermolecular interactions determines the state of matter. “Bulk” properties of matter such as behaviour of gases, characteristics of solids and liquids and change of state depend upon energy of constituent particles and the type of interaction between them. Chemical properties of a substance do not change…