Thermodynamics For Dummies book cover

Thermodynamics For Dummies

Published: August 2, 2011

Overview

Take some heat off the complexity of thermodynamics

Does the mere thought of thermodynamics make you sweat? It doesn't have to! This hands-on guide helps you score your highest in a thermodynamics course by offering easily understood, plain-English explanations of how energy is used in things like automobiles, airplanes, air conditioners, and electric power plants.

  • Thermodynamics 101 — take a look at some examples of both natural and man-made thermodynamic systems and get a handle on how energy can be used to perform work

  • Turn up the heat — discover how to use the first and second laws of thermodynamics to determine (and improve upon) the efficiency of machines

  • Oh, behave — get the 411 on how gases behave and relate to one another in different situations, from ideal-gas laws to real gases

  • Burn with desire — find out everything you need to know about conserving mass and energy in combustion processes

Open the book and find:

  • The laws of thermodynamics

  • Important properties and their relationships

  • The lowdown on solids, liquids, and gases

  • How work and heat go handin hand

  • The cycles that power thermodynamic processes

  • Chemical mixtures and reactions

  • Ten pioneers in thermodynamics

  • Real-world applications of thermodynamic laws and concepts

Learn to:

  • Master the concepts and principles of thermodynamics

  • Develop the problem-solving skills used by professional engineers

  • Ace your thermodynamics course

Take some heat off the complexity of thermodynamics

Does the mere thought of thermodynamics make you sweat? It doesn't have to! This hands-on guide helps you score your highest in a thermodynamics course by offering easily understood, plain-English explanations of how energy is used in things like automobiles, airplanes, air conditioners, and electric power plants.

  • Thermodynamics 101 — take a look at some examples of both natural and man-made thermodynamic systems and get a handle on how energy can be used to perform work

  • Turn up the heat — discover how to use the first and second laws of thermodynamics to determine (and improve upon) the efficiency of machines

  • Oh, behave — get the 411 on how gases behave and relate to one another in different situations, from ideal-gas laws to real gases

  • Burn with desire — find out everything you need to know about conserving mass and energy in combustion processes

  • Open the book and find:

    • The laws of thermodynamics

    • Important properties and their relationships

    • The lowdown on solids, liquids, and gases

    • How work and heat go handin hand

    • The cycles that power thermodynamic processes

    • Chemical mixtures and reactions

    • Ten pioneers in thermodynamics

    • Real-world applications of thermodynamic laws and concepts

    Learn to:

    • Master the concepts and principles of thermodynamics

    • Develop the problem-solving skills used by professional engineers

    • Ace your thermodynamics course

    Thermodynamics For Dummies Cheat Sheet

    Thermodynamics sounds intimidating, and it can be. However, if you focus on the most important thermodynamic formulas and equations, get comfortable converting from one unit of physical measurement to another, and become familiar with the physical constants related to thermodynamics, you’ll be at the head of the class.

    Articles From The Book

    3 results

    Physics Articles

    Conversion Factors for Physical Measurements

    Sooner or later, you’re going to have to convert from one unit of physical measurement to another. This list gives you some of the most common conversion factors you need in thermodynamics.

    • Acceleration: 1 m/s2 = 100 cm/s2

    • Area: 1 m2 = 104 cm2 = 106 mm2

    • Density: 1 g/cm3 = 1 kg/L = 1,000 kg/m3

    • Energy, heat, work, internal energy, enthalpy: 1 kJ = 1,000 J = 1,000 N·m = 1 kPa·m3

      1 kJ/kg = 1,000 m2/s2

    • Force: 1 N = 1 kg·m/s2

    • Length: 1 m = 100 cm = 1,000 mm

    • Mass: 1 kg = 1,000 g

    • Power, heat transfer rate: 1 W = 1 J/s, 1 kW = 1,000 W

    • Pressure: 1 Pa = 1 N/m2, 1 kPa = 1,000 kPa, 1 MPa = 1,000 kPa

      1 atmosphere (atm) = 101.325 kPa

    • Specific heat, entropy: 1 kJ/kg · °C = 1 kJ/kg · K = 1 J/g·°C

    • Specific volume: 1 m3/kg = 1,000 L/kg = 1,000 cm3/kg

    • Temperature: T(K) = T(°C) + 273.15, T(°C) = (5/9) T(°F) – 32, T(°F) = (9/5) T(°C) + 32

    • Velocity: 1m/s = 3.6 km/hr

    • Volume: 1 m3 = 1,000 L = 106 cm3

    Physics Articles

    Physical Constants in Thermodynamics

    You run across a few physical constants when working out thermodynamics problems. Following is a list of the constants you need when you’re working with potential energy, pressure, or the ideal gas law.

    • Acceleration of gravity: g = 9.81 m/s2

    • Standard atmospheric pressure: 1 atm = 101.3 kPa

    • Universal gas constant:

    Physics Articles

    Important Thermodynamic Equations and Formulas

    Thermodynamics is filled with equations and formulas. Here’s a list of the most important ones you need to do the calculations necessary for solving thermodynamics problems.

    • Combustion equations:

      • Air-fuel ratio:

      • Hydrocarbon fuel combustion reaction:

    • Compressibility calculations:

      • Compressibility factor Z: Pv = ZRT

      • Reduced temperature:

      • Reduced pressure:

      • Pseudo-reduced specific volume:

    • Efficiency equations:

      • Thermal efficiency:

      • Coefficient of performance (refrigerator):

      • Coefficient of performance (heat pump):

    • Energy equations:

    • Entropy equations:

      • Entropy change for ideal gas, constant specific heat:

      • Entropy change for ideal gas, variable specific heat:

      • Irreversibility for a process:

    • Ideal-gas formulas:

      • Ideal-gas law: Pv = RT

      • Gas constant:

      • Ratio of specific heats:

      • Isentropic process for ideal gas:

    • Moist air properties:

      • Relative humidity:

      • Specific humidity:

    • Properties of mixtures:

      • Quality liquid-vapor mixture:

      • Saturated mixture property, y: y = yf + x · yfg

    • Work calculations:

      • Isobaric process: Wb = P0(V2 – V1)

      • Polytropic process:

      • Isothermal process of an ideal gas:

      • Shaft power:

      • Spring work: