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Wrap up

Energy is always conserved. This is the first law of thermodynamics. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed although it can be transformed into different forms. This concept has been used this week to develop an energy balance for a system exchanging energy with its surroundings in the form of heat, work and matter. Energy can be stored by matter in a system and temperature is a measure of this internal energy. Systems at the same temperature can be considered to be in thermal equilibrium, which is the zeroth law of thermodynamics.

See the Key Relationships PDF at the bottom of the page to reflect on what you have covered this week

What’s next?

Next week we will expand on the concept of storing energy in simple systems and then look at how thermodynamic systems can be used to release energy to power vehicles and generate electricity.

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This article is from the free online course:

Energy: Thermodynamics in Everyday Life

University of Liverpool