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Commonly Asked Questions in Physics by Andrew Rex

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Chapter 6

Thermodynamics

When you think of thermodynamics, you probably think of systems that regulate temperature. Your furnace keeps you warm in winter, and air conditioning maintains a comfortable environment in summer. Refrigerating and freezing food preserves it until you’re ready to use it. Then you cook it, often at a high temperature. Look around the modern world and you’ll see many other thermodynamic processes, from your car’s engine burning fuel and then expelling waste heat to power plants that burn fuel to generate electricity. Thermodynamics can be defined as the science of heat and temperature and their relation to energy and work. The applications we’ve mentioned all involve some use or transfer of energy. But leaving out all ...

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