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, Valentina Borissovna Vassilenko


Weekly - 5

Total - 66

Teaching language



Approval in the Mathematical Analysis I and Introduction to Biophysics is recommended


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

The Thermodynamics  B curricular unit is divided into the following components: Theoretical (T); Theoretical-Practical (TP) ; and in a practical component (P). The theoretical classes, T, have a duration of 3 hours per week (1:30 h + 1:30 h) and the TP classes of 0,5 hour per week (1 hour every two weeks). Laboratory classes, P,  have a workload of two hours every two week.

The T classes serve to introduce students to the structural content of the Thermodynamics as a fundamental area. In TP classes, a discussion and resolution of exercises apply the concepts exposed in the Ts. 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.

General information about 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.

Evaluation method

Continuous assessment of knowledge (see details in Portuguese)

Subject matter

1. Introduction
1.1 Introduction to the discipline.

1.2 Reviews on mathematical concepts.

1.3 Energy: Forms of Energy; Conservation; 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. Fundamental concepts of Thermodynamics
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. Equations of States
5.1 Equation of State and P-V-T surface

5.2 Equation of State of an Ideal Gas

5.3 Equation of State of a Real Gas

5.4 Physical transformations (phase changes or transitions)

6. Thermal Properties of Matter 
6.1 Expandability and Compressibility
6.2 Specific heat

7. First Law of Thermodynamics
7.1 Work
7.2 Heat
7.3 Energy Conservation – First 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. Second Law of Thermodynamics
10.1 Second Law – Statements by Kelvin and Clausius
10.2 Carnot theorem; Thermodynamic Temperature
10.3 Entropy
10.4 Reversible and Irreversible Processes; Clausius Inequality
10.5 Microscopic View of Entropy
10.6 T-S Diagrams

11. BIO Implications of the Thermodynamic Laws
11.1 Man as a thermal engine
11.2 Human energy production, storage and transfer processes
11.3 Temperature control and regulation in warm-blood animals

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

13. Third Law of Thermodynamics
13.1 Statement of the Third 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: