Thermal Energy

  • Jay Newman

In the broadest context, thermodynamics is the branch of physics concerned with the study of macroscopic systems with extremely large numbers of constituent molecules. Most prominent in this study is energy and its transformation and exchange with the surroundings. Not only thermal energy, but all forms of energy are included in the domain of thermodynamics. Even in cases in which the basic interactions between the individual molecules are very simple, because of the sheer number of molecules in a macroscopic volume of matter (1 cm3 of an ideal noninteracting gas has about 3 × 1019individual molecules), it is impossible to analyze such a system directly using Newton’s laws of motion. Even more to the point, the information gained from the enormous calculational exercise of following the trajectory of each molecule would be unintelligible and useless without reducing that knowledge to some small set of macroscopically averaged quantities that could be directly measured. Thermodynamics...


Internal Energy Thermal Equilibrium Basal Metabolic Rate Thermal Contact Good Thermal Contact 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Newman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUnion CollegeSchenectadyUSA

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