Thermal Physics revision notes (a Windermere School resource)

These Thermal Physics revision notes can help HL students revise the entire HL Thermal Physics part of the IB HL Physics syllabus. Please use them. Thanks to the 'http://www.saburchill.com/' for assisting with providing some of the content.

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Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics
If body A is in thermal equilibrium with body B and body A is also in thermal
equilibrium with body C then body B will be in thermal equilibrium with body C.
Converting Celsius to Kelvin
0°C = 273K
Why a Gas Exerts a Pressure
Gasses exert pressure when the molecules within them collide with the walls of
the container that they are in, therefore pressure increases with temperature.
Why the Temperature of a Gas is Increased when it is Compressed
As the molecules are forced inwards they collide with the moving piston so collide
faster, meaning they have a greater average kinetic energy and therefore temperature.
Maxwell and Bolzmann Curves
The higher the temperature of a gas the further right, the lower its
peak, and the more spread out the line on the graph should be.
Heat Capacity
The Heat Capacity (C) of a body is the quantity of energy needed
to cause its temperature to change by 1K. Unit JK-1 (or rarely J°C-1)
Specific Heat Capacity
The Specific Heat Capacity (c) of a substance is the
quantity of energy needed to change the temperature of
1kg of the substance by 1K. Unit Jkg-1K-1
Phase Changes
If energy is supplied to a piece of ice which is at 0°C it will cause the piece
of ice to melt without causing it to change temperature. Energy goes into
increasing potential energy within the bonds between the molecules.
Latent Heat
Latent Heat is the amount of energy required to change
the phase of a substance without changing its temperature.
The Specific Latent heat of a Substance
The Specific Latent Heat (L) is the quantity of energy
needed to change the state of 1kg of a substance
without changing its temperature. Unit Jkg-1
The Molar Latent heat of a Substance
The Molar Latent Heat (Lm) is the quantity of energy
needed to change the state of 1mol of a substance
without changing its temperature. Unit Jmol-1
Heat Flow
Without putting work in Energy will always flow from a hot body to
a cold body. This flow of temperature energy is known as Heat.

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Mechanisms for Heat Transfer
The three basic mechanisms of energy transfer are Conduction, Convection, and Radiation.
Conduction
The Rate of Flow of Energy (Q/t) is directly proportional to the
temperature gradient (T) causing heat flow, and the Area (A) of the
solid, and is inversely proportional to the length (l) of the solid that the
temperature gradient spans. In the equation on the right k is the
Thermal Conductivity constant (Units Wm-1°C-1) of the material whilst
the quantity t/l is the Temperature Gradient.…read more

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Boyle's Law
Boyle's Law states that the Pressure of a fixed mass of gas at
constant temperature is inversely proportional to its volume.
Gases Doing Work
The Work Done on or by a gas can be described by
Work Done on/by a Gas
When the volume of a gas increases, work is done by the gas. When the
volume of a gas decreases, work is done on the gas by an external force.…read more

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Heat Engines
w is the net work done by the engine
QH is the energy taken from the Heat Reservoir
QC is the energy given to the Heat Sink
TH is the Temperature (in K) of the Heat Reservoir
TC is the Temperature (in K) of the Heat Sink
QH - QC = w
The efficiency of the Engine is
Heat Engines Entropy
Q = energy entering or leaving
S = Change in Entropy of System
Entropy in Systems
Energy entering a body increases entropy,…read more

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