1. Basic Concepts and Definitions
Thermodynamics has a wide range of applications in many engineering fields, in particular, the fields related to energy conversion and conservation. In this chapter, we have introduced some fundamental concepts and definitions used in the study of engineering thermodynamics.
An important skill that students need to develop, when performing thermodynamic analysis on devices, is to identify the system, its surroundings, and their interactions. There are three types of systems: closed system, open system, and isolated system, defined in terms of their ability to transfer mass and energy with the surroundings.
In this book, we consider systems in equilibrium. Each equilibrium state possesses a unique set of thermodynamic properties, which can be classified as extensive and intensive properties. When a system undergoes a process from one equilibrium state to another equilibrium state, its thermodynamic properties will change accordingly. The process path must be clearly specified when describing a process. Students need to understand the definitions of the common processes, including isobaric, isothermal, isochoric, adiabatic, and isentropic processes.