2020 Thermodynamics (Mechanical Engineering) A

Font size  SML

Register update notification mail Add to favorite lecture list
Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Mechanical Engineering
Murakami Yoichi  Hirai Shuichiro  Nagasaki Takao  Okawa Seiji 
Course component(s)
Lecture / Exercise
Mode of instruction
Day/Period(Room No.)
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

Thermodynamics is one of the most fundamental disciplines of Mechanical Engineering (ME) and gives the basis when the global environmental problems, energy problems, and resource problems are considered from the engineering viewpoint. Therefore, this course has been set as a required subject that ME students should learn first. In this course, students will learn various phenomena including those related to heat, work, and chemical energy, as well as physical laws governing these phenomena.

Specifically, lectures will be given mainly on the following points:
1. Fundamental ideas used in thermodynamics (system, energy, temperature, heat, work, property, process, phase change, efficiency, coefficient of performance, entropy, exergy, etc.)
2. Laws of thermodynamics (the first law, the second law, general thermodynamic relations, etc.)
3. Thermodynamics related to chemical reactions (heat of reaction, rate of reaction, enthalpy of formation, Gibbs energy of formation, etc.)
4. Thermodynamics related to power cycles and refrigeration cycles (automobile engines, jet engines, gas turbines, steam turbines, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.)

Student learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to accomplish the following two points:
To understand and become able to explain the ideas and contents of thermodynamics, especially
1. Fundamental ideas used in thermodynamics
2. Laws of thermodynamics
3. Thermodynamics related to chemical reactions
4. Thermodynamics related to power cycles and refrigeration cycles
To become able to apply them to specific engineering problems.

This course corresponds to
“1. Technical expertise (fundamental technical expertise)”
of the learning target.

This course will be useful for later courses of “Heat Transfer”, “Energy Conversion”, etc.


Heat, Work, Energy, Exergy, Heat engines, Power cycles, Refrigeration cycles

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
Expertise on thermodynamics that is the basis of mechanical engineering and general science.

Class flow

In this course, students learn the fundamentals of thermodynamics such as the concepts of temperature, state quantities and related laws first, and then learn the concept of thermodynamic cycle and feature of heat engines. Through the study, students train the fundamental abilities applicable for utilization of thermal energy in the engineering field.
Students are strongly encouraged to take his/her own lecture notes in the class and review after each lecture. Supplementary materials are provided depending on the contents of lecture.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 After an orientation for the entire course, Introduction (Aim and outline of thermodynamics) Concept of the thermodynamic system, Various kinds of energy, 0th law of thermodynamics, Temperature, heat and work State quantities, Change of state, Ideal gas assumption, Avogadro's law Fundamentals of the 1st law of thermodynamics (Thermodynamic equilibrium, Quasi-steady state process) Acquire the concept of thermodynamic system, and then understand the relation among energy, heat and work, and the relation between temperature and heat from the thermodynamic viewpoint. Understand the concepts of state quantities and change of state etc., and then apply them to estimate the change of state of the ideal gas quantitatively. Understand the fundamentals of the 1st law of thermodynamics. Understand the concept of thermodynamic equilibrium.
Class 2 1st law of thermodynamics (Closed system) 1st law of thermodynamics (Open system) 2nd law of thermodynamics (Heat engine and thermal efficiency) Understand the 1st law of thermodynamics in closed and open systems, and then apply it to estimate the change of state under quasi-steady state process. Understand the fundamentals of the 2nd law of thermodynamics based on the concept of heat engine and its thermal efficiency.
Class 3 2nd law of thermodynamics (Carnot cycle, Various expressions of the 2nd law of thermodynamics) 2nd law of thermodynamics (Entropy, Reversible/irreversible processes) Learn the Carnot cycle as a concrete example of heat engine cycles and evaluate its thermal efficiency. Then, understand the various expressions of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Based on the 2nd law of thermodynamics, learn the concept of "entropy' that is the state quantity representing the randomness of a system. Using the concept of entropy, understand the difference between reversible and irreversible processes.
Class 4 Exergy and free energy General thermodynamic relations (Maxwell relation, Clapeyron-Clausius equation, Joule–Thomson effect) Chemical reaction Based on the concept of entropy, derive the concept of exergy that is the measure of the maximum useful work and the concept of free energy that is the measure of spontaneous changes of a system. Derive the relations among the state quantities appeared in this lecture, and evaluate quantities by using the practical relations such as Maxwell relation and Clapeyron-Clausius equation. Learn the fundamentals of chemical reaction, and understand the relation between heat of reaction and free energy change, and the temperature dependence of reaction rate.
Class 5 Gas engine cycle (Otto cycle and Diesel cycle) Gas engine cycle (Brayton cycle and Stirling cycle) Learn the processes of Otto- and Diesel-cycle that are typical practical internal combustion engine gas cycles, and derive the thermal efficiencies of these engine cycles. Learn the processes of Brayton cycle that is the ideal cycle of gas-turbine engines and Stirling cycle that is a typical external combustion engine gas cycle, and derive the thermal efficiencies of these engine cycles.
Class 6 Real gas and steam Steam engine cycle (Rankine cycle) Learn the change of state of the real gases and steam. Learn the processes of Rankine cycle that are typical steam engine cycles, and evaluate its output power and thermal efficiency.
Class 7 Refrigeration cycle (vapor compression cycle) Final examination. Learn the processes of vapor compression cycle that is one of the typical refrigeration cycle. Check understandings of the learned contents by an examination.


JSME Text Series "Thermodynamics", Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (Japanese)
Each student has to buy this text book and bring it to every classes.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Y. Mori, N. Isshiki, H. Kawata, "Introduction of Thermodynamics, Revised Edition", Yokendo Co. (Japanese).
Y. A. Cengel, M. A. Boles, “Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach”, McGraw-Hill.
Other course materials may be provided during the course whenever needed.

Assessment criteria and methods

Grade evaluation will be conducted via a final examination (80-90%) and some drills (10-20% so that the total is 100%).
On the latter half of the class #7 (Aug. 3rd), a final examination is taken place online. You have to take this final examination as this is the major part of the grade evaluation in this course.

*Examination time is planned to be about 90 minutes.
*Any kinds of misconducts, including sharing answers between examinees, are prohibited.
*The only things an examinee can see during the examination are the (i) hand-written notes taken by himself/herself, (ii) supplementary materials provided from the lecturer of this course, and (iii) formal textbook of this course (see above). One must not see other things including the internet during the exam.
*To solve problems in the exam, one has to use a scientific calculator.
*Details will be announced such as by e-mail sent through OCW-i.

Related courses

  • MEC.E311 : Heat Transfer
  • MEC.E331 : Energy Conversion

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Having basic knowledge of the differential and integral calculus is desirable.

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).

Shuichiro Hirai: hirai[at]mes.titech.ac.jp
Takao Nagasaki: nagasaki.t.aa[at]m.titech.ac.jp
Seiji Okawa: okawa.s.aa[at]m.titech.ac.jp
Yoichi Murakami: murakami.y.af[at]m.titech.ac.jp

Office hours

Contact professors by an e-mail beforehand to get an appointment.


Actual correspondences between "Course schedule" and "Class #" (see above) may be different from those given above depending on the situation of progression, but the order of the contents taught will basically be kept as given above.

Page Top