4. The First Law of Thermodynamics for Closed Systems

4.0 Chapter introduction and learning objectives

The first law of thermodynamics is the law of energy conservation: the energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it is conserved in a system. This chapter explains the fundamental concepts of heat and work, and the first law of thermodynamics. Examples are given to illustrate the applications of the first law of thermodynamics in closed systems.


Learning Objectives

After completing the chapter, you should be able to

  • Determine the internal energy of real substances by using thermodynamic tables
  • Calculate the internal energy of ideal gases by using constant-volume specific heat
  • Calculate different forms of work, such as the boundary work in various processes and the spring work due to the deformation of a spring
  • Explain the differences between work, heat, and energy stored in a system
  • Explain the physical meaning of the first law of thermodynamics
  • Apply the first law of thermodynamics to closed systems

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