Thermodynamics B


Knowledge: Concept learning related to kinetic theory, fluids and thermodynamics; Correct Physics terminology learning; Introduction to metrology (measurement, data analysis; uncertainties); Familiarization with instrumentation.

Transversal Competencies: Development of scientific reasoning; Analysis and resolution of problems; Connection to concepts and instruments of other curricular units such as Mathematics.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José Paulo Moreira dos Santos, Rui Filipe dos Reis Marmont Lobo


Weekly - 6

Total - 63

Teaching language



Approval in the subjects:

Análise Matemática I  and   Introdução à Biofísica


A: Fundamentals of Physics; Halliday/Resnick/Walker

B: Biological Thermodynamics; Donald T. Haynie, 2nd Ed.

C: Física (um curso universitário); Alonso e Finn ed. Brasileira, 1981, vol 1

D: The Principles of Thermodynamics; N. Hari Dass, CRC Press 2014

E: Physics; Paul Tipler and Gene Mosca

Teaching method

General information about the functioning of this discipline, such as rules, important dates, evaluation notes and other complementary information are available on the course''s page in the CLIP. Documentation necessary for the realization of practical classes should be consulted in the CLIP in the folder “Protocols”. Contents and Bibliography, are also available on CLIP.

Termodinâmica B is divided into a theoretical-practical component (TP); problem solving component online (OP); and in a practical part (P - Laboratory). Theoretical-practical classes have a duration of 3 hours a week (1:30 h + 1:30 h) and problem classes have a duration of 1 h weekly. Laboratory classes have a workload of two hours, every two weeks.

TP classes present the structural content of Thermodynamics as a fundamental area. In OP classes, a discussion and resolution of exercises apply the concepts exposed in the TPs. In P laboratory classes, experimental work is carried out with the aim of verifying physical phenomena or processes described in the theoretical-practical classes and to develop laboratorial skills as well as handling relevant equipment.

Evaluation method

 Continuous assessment of knowledge (see details in portuguese)

Subject matter

1. Energy
1.1 Energy revisited
1.2 Internal Energy

2. Kinetic Theory of Gases
2.1 Pressure, Temperature
2.2 Equipartition of Energy, Maxwell-Boltzmann Distribution
2.3 Mean Free Path, Diffusion, Osmotic Pressure.

3. Thermodynamics Concepts and Wording
3.1 Systems
3.2 Properties
3.3 Processes

4. Temperature
4.1 Thermal Equilibrium. Zero Law of Thermodynamics
4.2 Thermometric Properties
4.3 Temperature Scales

5. State Equations
5.1 State Equation and P-V-T surface
5.2 State Equation of an ideal gas
5.3 State Equation of a real gas
5.4 Phase transitions

6. Thermal Properties of Matter 
6.1 Expansion and Compression
6.2 Specific heat

7. The 1st Law of Thermodynamics
7.1 Work
7.2 Heat
7.3 Energy Conservation – The 1st Law of Thermodynamics
7.4 Enthalpy
7.5 Internal Energy Equations
7.6 Adiabatic Processes

8. Heat Transfer
8.1 Conduction
8.2 Convection
8.3 Radiation

9. Thermal Engines, Refrigerators and Heat Pumps
9.1 Energy flux diagram of a thermal engine; Efficiency
9.2 External combustion motors – Stirling e and Steam Machine
9.3 External combustion motors – Otto 
9.4 Energy flux diagram of a refrigerator; Coefficient of performance
9.5 Energy flux diagram of a heat pump; Coefficient of performance

10. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
10.1 Second Law – Kelvin and Clausius versions
10.2 Carnot theorem; Thermodynamic Temperature
10.3 Entropy
10.4 Reversible and Irreversible Processes; Clausius Inequality
10.5 Microscopic Vision of Entropy
10.6 T-S Diagrams

11. BIO Implications of the Thermodynamic Laws
11.1 The human being as a thermal engine
11.2 Processes of energy production, storage and transfer
11.3 Control and regulation of temperature in hot-blood animals

12. Fundamental Equations and Thermodynamic Potentials
12.1 TdS Equations; Examples of Application
12.2 Thermodynamic Potentials; System Evolution towards equilibrium

13. The 3rd Law of Thermodynamics
13.1 3rd Law of Thermodynamics
13.2 Consequences of the third law

14. Open Systems
14.1 Modification of the Equations
14.2 Chemical Potential
14.3 Phase Transitions
14.4 Thermodynamic vision of diffusion and osmotic pressure

15. BIO Applications of Enthalpy and Gibbs Energy


Programs where the course is taught: