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The Four Laws of Thermodynamics

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Thermodynamic is a part of physics that deals with temperature and heat and how they are related to work and energy. In other words, it explains the transfer of energy from one thing to another and its form changes. This is very useful and applies to many works of engineering and science.

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Nicholas Leonard Sadi Carnot, a French physicist and engineer, developed the concepts of the steam engine. He concluded that heat is a cause of movement in particles and calculated the mechanical equivalent of heat. He indicated that the work produced by a steam engine is proportional to the heat transferred from the boiler to condenser.

A German physicist named Julius Robert Mayer formulated the general law of conservation of energy. This law was also formulated by James Prescott Joule and Hermann Ludwig von Helmholtz. James Prescott Joule determined the mechanical equivalent of heat. Hermann Ludwig von Helmholtz worked on things such as thermodynamics, electrodynamics, and more. He is also known for inventing the first ophthalmoscope.

Another physicist named Rudolf Julius Emanuel Clausius formulated the second law of thermodynamics. He introduced entropy as an equation of state. He also defined the element of classical thermodynamics and made major implications of the mechanical equivalent to heat. He modified Nicholas Leonard Sadi Carnot law to the work produced by heat is not only equivalent to the heat transferred from the warmer to the colder body. Instead he said it is also proportional to the temperature difference of the two.

There are four laws of thermodynamics. The first law is also known as the law of conservation of energy. It states that energy cannot be destroyed nor created. However, it can be transferred from one thing to another. It can also change its type from one to another. For example, when you turn on a light the electrical energy turns into heat energy. The energy is not lost but just turns into another form of energy.

The second law states that the entropy of a system that is isolated will always rise. This means that it will only increase and never decrease. They will continue to increase towards thermal equilibrium, which is the maximum entropy a system can have.

The third law states the entropy will approach a constant value when the temperature of the system reaches absolute zero. The entropy of a system is near zero when it is at absolute zero and it is the natural log of the product at ground state.

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The last law, called Zeroth law, states if two systems are in thermal equilibrium with a third, they are in thermal equilibrium with one another. This law is meant to make empirical parameter, the temperature, exist as a property of two system in thermal equilibrium with each other, will have the same temperature.

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