I have spent a great deal of time attempting understand Thermo. Not just to be able to answer questions in an exam, but to really get to grips with Thermodynamics and not be intimidated by the many subtleties, tricks and assumptions which permeate the field.
I should say that I’m going to be talking about the fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics. There may be occasional forays into Statistical Mechanics, Mathematics or Materials Science, but my interest is centred on making effective models which can be used to design or analyse machines which convert Heat into Work.
A tutor of mine at college told his class this hardly-inspiring quotation:
“Thermodynamics is a funny subject. The first time you go through it, you
don’t understand it at all. The second time you go through it, you think
you understand it, except for one or two small points. The third time you
go through it, you know you don’t understand it, but by that time you are
used to it, so it doesn’t bother you any more.”
Arnold Sommerfeld, making excuses
(The Tutor was one of a collection of people who were intellectually gifted, bad teachers. Had any bothered to think about the difficulties their students faced, this blog would probably have been unnecessary -at least for me).
If you are struggling to understand Thermo, and sick of applying formulae you don’t really understand, then I hope that this work will be useful. There are currently 35 small articles in the pipeline which will address inherently confusing topics and those which are often just poorly explained. Each piece will consist of a blog post which acts as very brief commentary on various pngs embedded in the post.
This material is provided free. If you’d like to access the full set of my notes (over 100 such posts) then simply contact me for pricing. I’m also available to provide online tutoring for those who want additional explanation (perhaps in the run-up to final exams).