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Thermodynamics From a Few Dynamic Particles Raises Questions as to How Temperature and Entropy Should Be Perceived and Defined

[+] Author Affiliations
W. John Dartnall, John Reizes

University of Technology - Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Paper No. IMECE2007-43278, pp. 241-250; 10 pages
  • ASME 2007 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 7: Engineering Education and Professional Development
  • Seattle, Washington, USA, November 11–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4301-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3812-9
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


In a recently developed simple particle mechanics model, in which a single particle represents the working fluid, (gas) in a heat engine, (exemplified by a piston engine) a new approach was outlined for the teaching of concepts to thermodynamic students. By mechanics reasoning, a model was developed that demonstrates the connection between the Carnot efficiency limitation of heat engines, and the Kelvin-Planck statement of Second Law, requiring only the truth of the Clausius statement. In a second paper the model was extended to introduce entropy. The particle’s entropy was defined as a function of its kinetic energy, and the space that it occupies, that is analogous to that normally found in classical macroscopic analyses. In this paper, questions are raised and addressed: How should temperature and entropy be perceived and defined? Should temperature be proportional to average (molecular) translational kinetic energy and should entropy be dimensionless?

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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