Friday, February 17, 2006


Definition: The study of the laws that govern the conversion of energy from one form to another, the direction in which heat will flow, and the availability of energy to do work. It is based on the concept that in an isolated system anywhere in the universe there is a measurable quantity of energy called the internal energy (U) of the system. This is the total kinetic and potential energy of the atoms and molecules of the system of all kinds that can be transferred directly as heat; it therefore excludes chemical and nuclear energy. The value of U can only be changed if the system ceases to be isolated. In these circumstances U can change by the transfer of mass to or from the system, the transfer of heat, or by work being done.

Also Known As: Three laws of Themodynamics, Thermo-dynamics, Thermo, Thermal physics

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