
The student:
a. is able to identify and define a system and its surroundings. Express a state of a system using state variables such as pressure, temperature, volume, entropy and internal energy.
b. is able to state the first law of thermodynamics and is able to calculate heat and work transfer in a process. Relate heat capacity of a material to energy transfer.
c. can relate probability theory to the concept of an entropy of a system.
d. can understand and apply the concept of thermal and mechanical equilibrium from entropy changes of a system. Is able to appreciate the concept of reversibility and irreversibility of processes.
e. is able to apply the concept of a thermodynamic cycle, which connects several processes. In particular, to heat engines and refrigerators. Derive thermodynamic efficiency of these cycles.
f. is able to apply the steadyflow energy equation to a system component.
g. understands the concepts of energy potentials; internal energy, enthalpy, Helmholtz and Gibbs free energy. Is able to derive changes of these energy potentials and determine the consequences on a system when its state variables are varied.
h. is able to appreciate the concept of a liquidvapour phase transition from a thermodynamic perspective.



In our daily lives, we are familiar with systems that contain many particles. For example, to boil a small kettle of water you need to heat up some 10^25 water molecules. In order to describe the behaviour of such a multiparticle system, it is impossible to consider each individual particle (microscopic approach). We look at a continuum or a macroscopic behaviour. When a large number of particles are considered as a system, the macroscopic properties such a pressure and temperature does not depend on the individual microscopic events. For instance, a gas will always expand when it fills a larger volume, but the reverse process will never occur spontaneously. This kind of behaviour and the underlying principles are considered in thermodynamics. Linking this module component to the project case, thermodynamic cycles will be considered such as engines and heat pumps. Here, the first and second laws of thermodynamics are of crucial importance (respectively, dealing with conservation of energy and increasing entropy).




 Assumed previous knowledgeMultivariable Calculus; probability theory 
Bachelor Advanced Technology 
  Required materialsBookDaniel V. Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics 

 Recommended materialsHandouts  ArticlesConcepts not well explained in the book are covered in a script 

 Instructional modesTestsThermodynamics


 