About the content
COURSE DESCRIPTION This course provides an introduction to the most powerful engineering principles you will ever learn - Thermodynamics: the science of transferring energy from one place or form to another place or form. We will introduce the tools you need to analyze energy systems from solar panels, to engines, to insulated coffee mugs. More specifically, we will cover the topics of mass and energy conservation principles; first law analysis of control mass and control volume systems; properties and behavior of pure substances; and applications to thermodynamic systems operating at steady state conditions. COURSE FORMAT The class consists of lecture videos, which average 8 to 12 minutes in length. The videos include integrated In-Video Quiz questions. There are also quizzes at the end of each section, which include problems to practice your analytical skills that are not part of video lectures. There are no exams. GRADING POLICY Each question is worth 1 point. A correct answer is worth +1 point. An incorrect answer is worth 0 points. There is no partial credit. You can attempt each quiz up to three times every 8 hours, with an unlimited number of total attempts. The number of questions that need to be answered correctly to pass are displayed at the beginning of each quiz. Following the Mastery Learning model, students must pass all 8 practice quizzes with a score of 80% or higher in order to complete the course. ESTIMATED WORKLOAD If you follow the suggested deadlines, lectures and quizzes will each take approximately ~3 hours per week each, for a total of ~6 hours per week. TARGET AUDIENCE Basic undergraduate engineering or science student. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - What are the prerequisites for taking this course? An introductory background (high school or first year college level) in chemistry, physics, and calculus will help you be successful in this class. -What will this class prepare me for in the academic world? Thermodynamics is a prerequisite for many follow-on courses, like heat transfer, internal combustion engines, propulsion, and gas dynamics, to name a few. -What will this class prepare me for in the real world? Energy is one of the top challenges we face as a global society. Energy demands are deeply tied to the other major challenges of clean water, health, food resources, and poverty. Understanding how energy systems work is key to understanding how to meet all these needs around the world. Because energy demands are only increasing, this course also provides the foundation for many rewarding professional careers.
- Week 1 - Week 1
In this module, we frame the context of energy and power supply and demand around the world. You will learn that understanding and correctly using units are critical skills for successfully analyzing energy systems. It is also important to be able to identify ...
- Week 2 - Week 2
In this module, we will get started with the fundamental definitions for energy transfer, including the definitions of work transfer and heat transfer. We will also show (by example) how state diagrams are valuable for explaining energy transfer processes. The...
- Week 3 - Week 3
In this module, we introduce our first abstract concepts of thermodynamics properties – including the specific heats, internal energy, and enthalpy. It will take some time for you to become familiar with what these properties represent and how we use these pro...
- Week 4 - Week 4
In this module we introduce the combined application of the Conservation of Mass and the Conservation of Energy for system analysis. We also review the common assumptions for typical energy transfer devices, like heat exchangers, pumps and turbines. Together t...
- Week 5 - Week 5
In this module, we tackle some of the most difficult systems to analyze – transient or time-varying systems. Any system where the energy transfer changes as a function of time requires transient analysis. Not only are these difficult problems to analyze, they ...
- Week 6 - Week 6
In this module, we introduce some of the concepts of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. We will only discuss a small fraction of the vast material that falls under the topic of the Second Law. I encourage you to explore beyond our course material for very inter...
- Week 7 - Week 7
In this module we focus on in-depth analysis of a Rankine power plant. The Rankine power plant is the fundamental design for stationary power generation when the working fluid is water (or steam) and the energy carrier is nuclear, coal, gas, or thermal solar p...
- Week 8 - Week 8
In this module, we have a brief discussion of energy carriers – including fossil fuels and battery materials. These lectures highlight the thermodynamic properties of these energy carriers and storage materials that make these systems so attractive and at the ...
Margaret Wooldridge, Ph.D.
Arthur F. Thurnau Professor
Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering
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