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Basic Thermodynamics ~ J. Pohl © ~ 2017 www.ThermoSpokenHere.com (A0098-003)

1.01 Basic Methodology

The goal of physics and thermo­dynamics is to understand selected events of physical reality sufficiently well to predict its future. The focuses of study are finite, specifically selected aggregates of matter. That matter selected is called the system. Thermodynamics is the study of systems and how systems change with events.

The literature of physics and thermodynamics is vast. Its development, by thousands of investigators over 2000 years, followed a myriad of paths. To study, there is no one path to follow. To travel retrospectively in literature, to arrive at the root of some understanding, or to locate the initiation of any subtopic cannot be done. Our studies are very much "in the middle." However there is a plan, a method, logic of approach. A Basic Methodology has evolved.

System Method:

The system is the selected topic of consideration. The system method begins with a careful selection of the mass "of interest." The method ALWAYS includes approximation, simplification of reality.

Universe:  The Universe is the beginning of any thermodynamic calculation. We generally know the universe is the entirety of everything. It is all matter and all space. It is the Earth and all of its parts, the moon, all of the planets of the solar system, the sun, and all of the stars - everything . The universe is infinite; it has no boundary. Invariably, investigations of thermodynamics address part of the universe. We call that part the system.

Physical Scenario:  The subject of every thermodynamic analyses is some part (or parts) of the universe. So how is that "part" selected and identified? Always, there is some region of interest, composed of matter involved in an event. The matter resides at a location in the space of the universe. Some event (or non-event) drews attention to the system center. The physical mass and its event (real or imagined) constitute a physical scenario.hsgtfre

System, Boundary and Surroundings:  Analysis addresses the system. The system is selected precisely as parts of the physical scenarion. To define a system is to state precisely what is the system (obviously) which accomplished at the same time statement of the system boundary and the surroundings - that which is not the system.

Event:  The idea, "event" is "something happens." When something happens there is change. But when "nothing happens," there is also change - time has changed. Every real event involves time. We look at this later.

Constructs and Physical Laws:  Constructs, useful perspectives of observation are used. Constructs, like force, momentum and energy have been cast as physical laws.

Tools of Mathematical Analysis:  The physical world is assumed to be rational. This means, with its careful observation, is can be understood and its future behaviors can be predicted. Mathematics as geometry, algebra and calculus are the mechanisms of prediction.

Style of this Writing:

This work is a presention of Items which are Examples. Also included are sequenced topics about physical reality, physics, mathema­tics and basic mechanical engineering. Each presentation is similar to the historic menu (items above indented) except that topics are presented with detailed rigor. To start, Newton's 2nd Law is presented including the math Newton invented for it: vectors, calculus and the first order, ordinary differential equation.

The literature of science is vast. Were all of it avaiable on the internet, it would be impossible to take any topic of antiquity and trace its development from antiquity to now. Also to trace any recent development from now back 50 years, then more to its roots, origin, is impossible. Although the "then-till-now" an "now-came-from-then" cannot be traced, science has attained a steady, ever-accuring competence through time.

The substance of science, its ongoing legacy is composed of words. These special words, varying within desciplines, the perspective of these terms are (in this small presentation) our focus of study.

Tags: Narratives