Introduction to Thermodynamics

Demonstrate familiarity with the first and second laws of thermodynamics

There are four laws of thermodynamics; however, for this course only the first two are relevant:

  1. Energy may be transferred from place to place or transformed into different forms, but it cannot be created or destroyed.
  2. In any given system, the entropy (the amount of energy) will either increase or stay the same.

In this outcome, we will learn exactly how these laws are important to understanding biology.

What You’ll Learn to Do

  • Distinguish between an open and a closed system
  • Understand how the first law of thermodynamics applies to biological systems
  • Understand how the second law of thermodynamics applies to biological systems

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include the following:

  • Open and Closed Systems
  • The First Law of Thermodynamics
  • The Second Law of Thermodynamics
  • Self Check: Thermodynamics