What is Thermodynamics?

Thermodynamics is the kind of physics that deals with the relationships between heat and other forms of energy. It mainly describes how thermal energy is converted to and from other forms of energy and how it affects matter.

A burner heating a pot of water. Causing it to boil.

Thermal energy is the energy a substance or system had due to its temperature, i.e., the energy of the movement of molecules. Thermodynamics measures this energy, which can be very complicated. The systems we study in thermodynamics have a lot of atoms or molecules, interacting in different ways.


Thermodynamics is part of several properties of matter, one of which said matter, is heat. Heat is transferred between one object to another due to the difference in temperature. As a form of energy, heat is conserved, it cannot be created or destroyed. It can be transferred from one object to another, so you may have heat from London, in Canada. Heat can also be changed into other forms of energy. A steam turbine is a good example of this, it can convert heat into kinetic energy, putting that kinetic energy into a light would change that kinetic energy into radiation, that radiation gets absorbed into the ground and gets turned back into heat.


The amount of heat transferred by an object all depends on the speed and the amount of atoms or molecules moving. The higher the temperature, the faster the atoms or molecules are moving and the amount of atoms or molecules rises. The Celsius scale is the most common scale, which is made around the freezing and boiling points of water, along with Fahrenheit. The less common ones use the Kelvin scale, used by scientists popularly.

Specific Heat

The amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a certain object, this is like how a burner heats up part of the pot first, then it gets hotter and hotter throughout the entire pot. The amount of heat is dependent on how many atoms are in the hot object, not the mass.

Thermal Conductivity

Thermal conductivity (K) is the rate at which heat passes through a specific object, shown as the amount of heat goes through a certain amount of distance through the object. Specific materials are better than others because of how the aren't good at conducting heat, these materials are called Thermal Resistors. Such materials include rock wool, goose down and styrofoam

Other things that Thermodynamics is involved with

Thermodynamics doesn't even need to be heat, it can be any type of energy. It is mostly used with heat and work to show laws like Thermal Conductivity.

Why do we have Thermodynamics?

Thermodynamics was actually made for a more efficient use of the steam engine. But is used as a huge branch of physics


So that is a little explanation on what Thermodynamics is, there is probably more that I missed, so be sure to check out other sources!

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