Definition of thermodynamics

Thermodynamics is an experimental science based on a small number of principles that are generalizations made from experience. It is concerned only with macroscopic or large-scale properties of matter and it makes no hypotheses about the small-scale or microscopic structure of matter. From the principles of thermodynamics one can derive general relations between such quantities as coefficients of expansion, compressibilities, specific heat capacities, heats of transformation, and magnetic and dielectric coefficients, especially as these are affected by temperature. The principles of thermodynamics also tell us which of these relations must be determined experimentally in order to completely specify all the properties of the system...

Thermodynamics is complementary to kinetic theory and statistical thermodynamics. Thermodynamics provides relationships between physical properties of any system once certain measurements are made. Kinetic theory and statistical thermodynamics enable one to calculate the mangitudes of these properties for those systems whose energy states can be determined.


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