Physics Unit 11: Thermodynamics – Overview

Thermodynamics – Overview
This overview lists the essential learning targets for the lesson and discusses the underlying concepts of internal and external energy, heat and temperature.The complete California State Standards are available at Standard PH3 Thermodynamics is listed at the bottom of this post for your convenience.

Internal vs. external energy
What is heat? What is temperature?
How is temperature measured? 3 temperature scales
Thermal Equilibrium
The Zeroth + 3 Laws of Thermodynamics
The Zeroth Law
The First Law
The Second Law
The Third Law



California State Standards

Heat and Thermodynamics
3. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, although in many processes energy is transferred to the environment as heat. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know heat flow and work are two forms of energy transfer between systems.
b. Students know that the work done by a heat engine that is working in a cycle is the difference between the heat flow into the engine at high temperature and the heat flow out at a lower temperature (first law of thermodynamics) and that this is an example of the law of conservation of energy.
c. Students know the internal energy of an object includes the energy of random motion of the object’s atoms and molecules, often referred to as thermal energy. The greater the temperature of the object, the greater the energy of motion of the atoms and molecules that make up the object.
d. Students know that most processes tend to decrease the order of a system over time and that energy levels are eventually distributed uniformly.
e. Students know that entropy is a quantity that measures the order or disorder of a system and that this quantity is larger for a more disordered system.
f. * Students know the statement “Entropy tends to increase” is a law of statistical probability that governs all closed systems (second law of thermodynamics).
g. * Students know how to solve problems involving heat flow, work, and efficiency in a heat engine and know that all real engines lose some heat to their surroundings.