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This content is taken from the University of Liverpool's online course, Energy: Thermodynamics in Everyday Life. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds Last week, I introduced you to the zeroth law of thermodynamics and the first law. The zeroth law is about thermal equilibrium and led to the concept of temperature as a measure of internal energy. The first law is simply that energy is conserved. This week, I want to explore the key features of a thermodynamic system. What type of boundaries can it have? What is its capacity to absorb energy? And how can we design systems to release useful energy for us to power vehicles and generate electricity? I’ll talk about releasing energy through combustion and doing work. Towards the end of the week, I’ll introduce the concept of simple machines that operate in cycles so that we can repeatedly release useful energy.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds These machines are at the heart of our energy-thirsty society. We’ll wrap up the week with another lab exercise and a discussion on equality.


Eann recaps briefly the zeroth and first laws and then outlines the topics to be covered this week, including the thermodynamics machines that are at the heart of our energy-thirst society.

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This video is from the free online course:

Energy: Thermodynamics in Everyday Life

University of Liverpool