1. (used with a sing. verb) Physics that deals with the relationships and conversions between heat and other forms of energy.
2. (used with a pl. verb) Thermodynamic phenomena and processes.
Thermodynamics is the branch of physics that deals with the relationships between heat and other forms of energy. Four basic laws have been established.
|THE FOUR LAWS|
|First Law||The first law states that the amount of energy added to a system is equal to the sum of its increase in heat energy and the work done on the system. The first law is an example of the principle of conservation of energy.|
|Second Law||The second law states that heat energy cannot be transferred from a body at a lower temperature to a body at a higher one without the addition of energy. Thus, warm air outside can transfer its energy to a cold room, but transferring energy from a cold room to the warm air outside requires extra energy (as with an air conditioner).|
|Third Law||The third law states that the entropy of a pure crystal at absolute zero is zero. Since there can be no physical system with lower entropy, all entropy thus has a positive value by definition.|
|Zeroth Law||The zeroth law states that if two bodies are in thermal equilibrium with some third body, then they are also in equilibrium with each other. This law has its name because it was implicitly assumed in the development of the other laws, and is in fact more fundamental than the others, but was only later established as a law itself.|
Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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