In today’s episode we’ll explore thermodynamics and some of the ways it shows up in our daily lives. We’ll learn the zeroth law of thermodynamics, what it means to reach a thermal equilibrium, and define the first law of thermodynamics. We’ll also explore how stationary, adiabatic, and isochoric processes can make our lives as engineers a little easier.
Note: Different branches of engineering sometimes define the first law of thermodynamics differently, depending on how work is defined. Essentially, work released from a system might be defined as a positive value or a negative value, and thus the first law can be defined as either Q-W or Q+W. Both are acceptable forms, depending on how the system is defined! We chose to focus on only one definition here to limit the confusion.