Mr. Rogers' IB Physics Topics

Key Thermodynamic Terms and Equations

Perfect Gas Law

pV = n RT

1st Law of Thermodynamics - Conservation of energy

ΔUint = Q - W

Adiabatic - no heat transfer, occurs with a rapid expansion or contraction of a gas

 W = ΔUint

Isobaric - constant pressure, typical for a pneumatic cylinder

W = P (ΔV)

Isovolumetric - constant volume, can't do work

W = 0

ΔUint = Q

Isothermal (perfect gas) - constant temperature

W = nRT ln(Vi/Vf)

Carnot Cycle - the perfect heat engine

  1. Isothermal expansion
  2. Adiabatic expansion
  3. Isothermal compression
  4. Adiabatic compression

Heat Engine - converts heat to work. According to the 2nd Law 100% of a quantity of heat can never be converted to work.

Actual efficiency = W/Qh

Carnot efficiency = 1 - Tc/Th

Heat Pump - makes heat flow "backwards" from cold to hot, COP is coefficient of performance, the higher the better

Actual COP = Qc/W

Ideal:  COP = Tc/(Th - Tc)




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