Elementary Concepts and Fundamental Laws of the Theory of Heat



The elementary concepts and fundamental laws concerning the science of heat are examined from the point of view of its development with special attention to its theoretical structure. The development is divided into four periods, each one characterized by the concept that was attributed to heat. The transition from one to the next period was marked by the emergence of new concepts and new laws, and by singular events. We point out that thermodynamics, as it emerged, is founded on the elementary concepts of temperature and adiabatic wall, and on the fundamental laws: Mayer-Joule principle, or law of conservation of energy; Carnot principle, which leads to the definition of entropy; and the Clausius principle, or law of increase in entropy.


Thermodynamics Fundameantal laws of thermodynamics Fundamental concepts of thermodynamics 


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© Sociedade Brasileira de Física 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhysicsUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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