What is Thermodynamics?

Thermodynamics is the branch of Physics that studies the processes (or transformations) between the different forms of energy and the relationships between them.

Although the study of the different phenomena associated with energy began much earlier (in the 17th century), the greatest development of Thermodynamics took place between the second half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century, coinciding with the Industrial Revolution. During this time, the economy based on manual labor was replaced by another dominated by industry and, therefore, by machines. Thermodynamics became especially relevant, since increasing the efficiency of the machines and improving their design offered many advantages in both economic and safety terms.

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Thermodynamics studies the transformations of energy following the experimental method and applying the deductive method at the macroscopic level, regardless of the structure of the matter. In fact, the definitive proof of the existence of the molecules did not come until much later. It was in 1905 when Albert Einstein explained the Brownian motion as a consequence of the collisions between the water molecules and the particles found within it.

Classical Thermodynamics offers a series of laws, the so-called laws of Thermodynamics applicable only to macroscopic systems that are in a state of equilibrium. In simple terms, these laws define how energy transformations take place. Over time, they have become some of the most important laws of science and they are general within their scope.

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Before stating the laws of Thermodynamics we must introduce a series of concepts that will help us to describe the type of systems in which they are applicable. We will also introduce the thermodynamics variables which describe these systems and the types of processes they can undergo.

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