Physics Tutorial 13.5 - The First Law of Thermodynamics

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There are 6 lessons in this physics tutorial covering The First Law of Thermodynamics. The tutorial starts with an introduction to The First Law of Thermodynamics and is then followed with a list of the separate lessons, the tutorial is designed to be read in order but you can skip to a specific lesson or return to recover a specific physics lesson as required to build your physics knowledge of The First Law of Thermodynamics. you can access all the lessons from this tutorial below.

In this Physics tutorial, you will learn:

  • What is a system in thermodynamics? How does it differ from surroundings?
  • What kind of systems are there in thermodynamics?
  • What is the meaning of the state of a system?
  • What are thermal processes?
  • What is the meaning of internal energy? Where does it depend on?
  • How can we give energy to a thermodynamic system?
  • What is the meaning of work in thermodynamics?
  • What does the First Law of Thermodynamics say?
  • What are some Special Cases of the First Law of Thermodynamics?


What happens when the food inside a pressure cooker if it is heated more than needed? What if the valves of a pressure cooker are blocked and they cannot release the extra heat?

How do steam engines work? What kind of energy conversions take place in them?

Is it possible to increase the internal energy of an object by doing work on it? Give your opinion.

These questions will be clarified gradually during the explanation of this tutorial. Hold on, as this is one of the most important topics in thermodynamics.

Please select a specific "The First Law of Thermodynamics" lesson from the table below, review the video tutorial, print the revision notes or use the practice question to improve your knowledge of this physics topic.

Thermodynamics Learning Material
Tutorial IDPhysics Tutorial TitleTutorialVideo
13.5The First Law of Thermodynamics
Lesson IDPhysics Lesson TitleLessonVideo
13.5.1Useful Definitions in Thermodynamics
13.5.2Internal Energy of a Gas
13.5.3Giving Energy to a Thermodynamic System
13.5.4Work Done on a System and Work Done by a System
13.5.5The First Law of Thermodynamics
13.5.6Special Cases of the First Law of Thermodynamics

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  2. Thermodynamics Revision Notes: The First Law of Thermodynamics. Print the notes so you can revise the key points covered in the physics tutorial for The First Law of Thermodynamics
  3. Thermodynamics Practice Questions: The First Law of Thermodynamics. Test and improve your knowledge of The First Law of Thermodynamics with example questins and answers
  4. Check your calculations for Thermodynamics questions with our excellent Thermodynamics calculators which contain full equations and calculations clearly displayed line by line. See the Thermodynamics Calculators by iCalculator™ below.
  5. Continuing learning thermodynamics - read our next physics tutorial: The Kinetic Theory of Gases. Ideal Gases

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