Maurice Bluestein is a professor emeritus of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. He taught for 19 years at the undergraduate and graduate levels, following a 25-year career in the biomedical engineering industry. His industrial experience included developing artificial limbs for the Veterans Affairs Department, designing waste management systems for the Apollo space mission, managing the clinical usage of the intra-aortic balloon pump as a cardiac assist device, and using ultrasound imaging to detect carotid artery blockages and to aid in the diagnosis of breast cancer.
He received a PhD degree in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University and MS and BS degrees in mechanical engineering from New York University and the City College of New York, respectively. He has authored numerous scientific papers and is the codeveloper of the Wind Chill Temperature Chart used by the weather services of the United States and Canada.
Thermodynamics is the study of energy, heat, work, the properties of the media employed, and the processes involved. Thermodynamics is also the study of the conversion of one form of energy to another. Because energy can be derived from electrical, chemical, nuclear, or other means, thermodynamics plays an important role in all branches of engineering, physics, chemistry, and the biological sciences. In defining the word thermodynamics, we have used the terms energy, heat, and work.
It is necessary to examine these terms in detail, and this will be done in subsequent chapters. In this chapter, certain fundamental concepts are defined, and basic ideas are developed for future use. Even in our modern age, which has seen changes in our understanding of how the world works, the basics of thermodynamics remain valid. Even as Newton’s laws have been shown not to apply in all cases, the fundamental laws of thermodynamics are always applicable.
They apply to biological, chemical, electromagnetic, and mechanical systems. They apply to microscopic as well as macroscopic systems. In this textbook, the emphasis is on practical mechanical systems, including engines and heat transfer devices. In physics, when studying the motion of a rigid body (i.e., a body that is not deformed or only slightly deformed by the forces acting on it), extensive use is made of free-body diagrams. Briefly, a free-body diagram is an outline of a body (or a portion of a body) showing all the external forces acting on it.
A free-body diagram is one example of the concept of a system. As a general concept applicable to all situations, we can define a system as a grouping of matter taken in any convenient or arbitrary manner. We can consider a fixed amount of mass and follow it as it changes shape, volume, or position. The mass will have a boundary that prevents any portion of mass from entering or leaving; this is called a closed system. It still permits energy (i.e., heat and/or work) to cross the boundary.
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