Phsyics 15: 5-6 Heat Engines and Work
Text Reading: Giancoli, Physics - Principles with Applications, Chapter 15: 5-6
- Section 5: A heat engine is any system that converts heat energy to mechanical energy. The basic application of the second law allows us to determine engine efficiency by comparing the amount of heat transferred into the engine (measured as a temperature change) to the amount of work actually done by the engine: efficiency = TH - TL / TH. Efficiency = 100% (1) only if TL equals absolute zero — a value impossible to achieve. Sadi Carnot described the behavior of an ideal heat engine in which each step is reversible with no energy loss — but no real engine work at 100% efficiency on each process. Another way to state the second law is that no device can completely transform heat energy to work energy.
- Section 6: Refrigerators, air conditioners and heat pumps reverse the operation of a heat engine. Instead of pumping heat into a cold area, they pump heat from a cooler area to a hotter one. This requires the expenditure of energy: there is no theoretical way to have a perfect refrigerator.
- Engine efficiency
- Carnot Ideal Efficiency
- Coefficient of performance
Read the following weblecture before chat: The Second Law of Thermodynamics
Use the Heat Engine Simulator to change temperatures between the "source" and "sink". What happens to heat flow and efficiency?
Even though a bit dated, Isaac Asimov's article on Thermodynamics from his overview of physical science is still one of the best treatments of the subject.
Chat Preparation Activities
- Forum question: The Moodle forum for the session will assign a specific study question for you to prepare for chat. You need to read this question and post your answer before chat starts for this session.
- Mastery Exercise: The Moodle Mastery exercise for the chapter will contain sections related to our chat topic. Try to complete these before the chat starts, so that you can ask questions.
- The chapter quiz is not yet due.
If you want lab credit for this course, you must complete at least 12 labs (honors course) or 18 labs (AP students). One or more lab exercises are posted for each chapter as part of the homework assignment. We will be reviewing lab work at regular intervals, so do not get behind!
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