# Physical World Concepts - Thermodynamics Paper

In: Science

Submitted By danishfish
Words 345
Pages 2
Sierra Sisson
Mrs. Webb
PWC Period 7
December 2nd, 2013

1. What is the impact of entropy on a steam engine?
A steam engine could not function without entropy. Entropy is what is quantified when the substances in a system reach thermal equilibrium, and thermal equilibrium is another thing that the engine would not be able to function without either. Once the coal is heated up by the fire/source of heat in the engine so that it reaches thermal equilibrium with the heat source, the resulting energy is then converted into work, which is what the steam engine needs to function.
2. Why does heat energy only flow from hot areas or materials to colder areas? This is because of thermodynamics; substances want to be at thermal equilibrium. Obviously, this means that they are both at the same temperature and will not change any more. If a hot substance and a cold substance are beside each other, the hotter substance will transfer its heat to the colder substance so that they become equal to each other in temperature.
3. What does the author mean by thermal equilibrium? They have given the definition of thermal equilibrium to be what is achieved when the substances in a system have reached the same exact temperature and do not change any further. They also get a bit more specific in saying that it also means that “the system is not only in thermal, but also in mechanical, chemical as well as radioactive equilibrium.”
4. What happens when a thermometer reaches a person’s body temperature? At this point, the mercury within the thermometer ceases any changes in temperature. This occurs because the mercury and the person’s body have achieved thermal equilibrium.
5. What is the impact of entropy when thinking about a change from chemical energy to kinetic energy, like that of a gasoline energy in a car? The gasoline heats up to reach thermal equilibrium with the...

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