Thursday, January 05, 2006

The First Law of Thermodynamics

The First Law of Thermodynamics can be seen as a restatement of the law of conservation of energy in terms of functions of state of a system used in thermodynamics. It tells us about the energy transfers that take place as a system changes from one state to another.

Mathematically, the first law states that the change in internal energy of a system is equal to the sum of the heat given to it from outside ( the surroundings ) and the work done on it by external forces ( forces not originating in the system ).


U = q + w


"U" is the internal energy of the system,

"q" is the heat absorbed by the system from the surroundings

"w" is the work done on the system by extrenal forces.

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