Thermodynamics, according to mechanical engineering, falls under the fourth semester with a code of MME 2010(3). As a branch of mechanical engineering, it deals with study of the effects as a result of work done by or on material bodies or radiation in space. It is mainly concerned with the interrelationship between the three existing macroscopic variables, temperature, heat, and pressure in reference to the description of physical properties of the radiation and material bodies. Radiation in space and material bodies, are mostly referred to as thermodynamics system. Thermodynamics can be therefore be described succinctly as the study concerned with the transfer of energy that results from heat or work (Adkins 32).
Just like any other type of mechanical engineering, thermodynamics has many branches like chemical, equilibrium, non-equilibrium, to mention but a few. However, in this paper, equilibrium thermodynamics will be taken into consideration and looked into in a detailed manner to provide the basis of the field to any individual who may be interested in the field but lacks the crucial information on what it entails.
Equilibrium is the state of balance in chemical reactions or in energy transfer. Equilibrium thermodynamics therefore refers to a systematic study that focuses on the matter and energy transformations in different systems or media as they approach the equilibrium. This branch of thermodynamics originated from Carnot Cycle, a process which involved a cylinder containing a gas as a system, the system showed some imbalances due to heat input on the gas (Needham 19). The imbalances reduced eventually while work was being extracted from the system. Finally, the system settled into or obtained its equilibrium when there was no more work. The gas in the cylinder, which was the source of the imbalance, was reduced or removed by the use of heat energy through combustion. In the process, it lost its kinetic energy; thus reduced amount of work making the cylinder to obtain its equilibrium (Every 24).
The above behavior can be explained, as an example of one of the basics of equilibrium thermodynamics, using the first concepts and gas law formulae as shown below:
The first gas law, Boyle’s law states that the product of pressure and volume of an ideal gas at constant temperature is always equal.
PV = nRT where P is pressure, V stands for the gas volume, n represents number of moles of the gas, R is the gas constant and T representing the absolute gas temperature. It can also be expressed as PV=C, where C is the gas constant.
Gay –Lussac’s law states that the amount of pressure exerted by an ideal gas, enclosed inside a container, on the sides of the container is directly proportional to the temperature of the enclosed gas.
, Where p is the gas pressure, is the proportionality sign and T is the absolute temperature of the gas. It therefore follows that P= kT where k is the gas constant. Since kinetic energy (K.E) is directly proportional to temperature (T), K.E α T and temperature is directly proportional to heat energy supplied to the gas in the cylinder, it follows that kinetic energy is directly proportional to the amount of heat energy absorbed by the gas particles inside the cylinder; K.E α H.E, where H.E is the heat energy.
K.E= 1/2mv 2 where m is the molecular mass of the gas particles and V the average velocity of the gas particles. At equilibrium, the particles settle down at the bottom of the cylinder hence no velocity. Lack of velocity leaves the particles with no kinetic energy. Since work (W) is described as the force (F) moved by an object at a distance (h) and force is obtained from the product of the mass (m) and gravitational force (g).
W=F*h, but F=mg, W=mgh. Since h is zero, work done is therefore zero. Zero work makes the particles remain motionless (equilibrium) (Douglas 29). The above formulae are applicable in various gas companies where various activities involving handling of the gases take place. The knowledge is important to avoid occurrences of accidents especially the combustible gases that may cause serious explosions. Another use of equilibrium thermodynamics is with the oxygen mask for swimmers or marine officers. The oxygen in the mask should be made in such a way that its pressure against the mask wall is greater than external one exerted by the water on the same mask wall. This is to ensure that the mask do not allow gas leakage which may cause suffocation.
Heat Transfer: This is of great importance since it has a close relationship with equilibrium thermodynamics, which is my main course. Heat transfer gives more detailed explanation and important proofs of certain formulae and concepts that are applied in my field. The relationship between temperature and kinetic energy has its foundation under heat transfer. The behavior of gas particles, in terms of their motion, when subjected to a different temperature condition is explained under heat transfer. Such words as methods of heart transfer as convection, radiation, and conduction are well described in heat transfer. Therefore, due to this close relationship, I have developed interest in learning and knowing more about this course.
Mechanics: Mechanics provides good fundamental basis on certain calculations involved in equilibrium thermodynamics. Calculation of forces or pressure of gas is well explained under mechanics. Work done under different situations is also illustrated under the same course. It also easy to master the topic once you are done with equilibrium thermodynamics.
Fluid Mechanics: this is mainly concerned with the fluid movements and the detailed science behind the movements. The fluids are gases and liquids. This course reveals all the details and explanations behind the movements of fluids and their states under different conditions. Causes of these movements, that is, energy and conditions such as temperatures are important factors to consider in the thermodynamics under mentioned subtopic as they show greater relationships to one another hence more understanding. (II)
1. Iowa State University
2. Texas Tech University
3. University of South Florida
Salary: $ 58,927
Education and Experience
Minimum B.S in aerospace or Mechanical Engineering
Proficiency and knowledge of 3D CAD software
General knowledge in automotive design
Three years of experience in the engineering field
Strong communication and interpersonal skills
Ability to work well towards a set target with minimum supervision
Ability and willingness to work with a team that is culturally diverse
Applicant should be willing do overtime jobs
Developing underbody, cooling areas and upper body in order to attain aerodynamic target in vehicles
Contribute or create new tools, best practices and test procedures.
Head or direct others in a benchmarking program for vehicles.
Other assigned duties.
(a) Mechanical Engineer
Petrol and various types of gases. The gases are mainly volatile and combustible ones I mainly handle and give instructions on how to design the packing containers. I have been an engineer for six years.
(b) It is always characterized with a lot of work and activities on my side to execute as an engineer in the company. I spend 8hours at work during such days.
Making plans and determining the necessary number of containers to be designed in relation to the gas to be produced on that day.
Giving out the composition ration in terms of chemicals and other components of the cylinders.
Supervising junior workers (technicians) who operate the machines that make the cylinders.
Doing many calculations like the probability and the quantity as well as the price of the manufacturing materials.
(c) The best thing of being an engineer is that I learn new things each day, making, or coming up with new ideas or inventions is therefore very easy for me.
The worst thing of me being an engineer is that most of the formulae we use or do apply are under certain assumptions that are not well clear.
(d) For a freshman student, I will advise him or her to master well the basic principles of engineering he or she is interested in early enough since the successive semester will only involve little expansion on the existing basics.
Every, Kermit, “Aeronautical Engineering”: Encyclopedia Americana. Columbia: Gloria
Incorporated, 1986. Web.
Adkins, Charles. Equilibrium Thermodynamics, 3rd Ed. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1983. Print.
Needham, Joseph. Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4. Taipei: Caves Books,
Limited, 1986. Print.
Douglas, John, The future world of energy. Columbia: Gloria Incorporated, 1984. Print.