2022 Thermodynamics (Mechanical Engineering) A

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Mechanical Engineering
Sasabe Takashi  Hirai Shuichiro 
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Lecture / Exercise    (Livestream)
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Course description and aims

Thermodynamics is a science that provides guidelines and formulations on any kinds of changes, and thus has been one of the most important disciplines regardless of academic fields. In engineering field, thermodynamics is a basic discipline when energy conversions, global energy and environmental problems, resource problems, and changes of the materials are described. Therefore, this course is a required subject that students in mechanical engineering field should learn at 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.

In particular, 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, 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 (engines, 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 will 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.

Please follow instructions by lectures for your taking notes and memos during the class.
Please do a review after each class so that you can understand the contents taught well.

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 #1 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 Chemical reaction #2 Gas engine cycle (Otto cycle and Diesel cycle) 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. 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.
Class 6 Gas engine cycle (Brayton cycle and Stirling cycle) Real gas and steam 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. Learn the change of state of the real gases and steam.
Class 7 Steam engine cycle (Rankine cycle) Refrigeration cycle (vapor compression cycle) Learn the processes of Rankine cycle that are typical steam engine cycles, and evaluate its output power and thermal efficiency. Learn the processes of vapor compression cycle that is one of the typical refrigeration cycle.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and contents taught in the class.


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%).
The final exam will take place on Aug. 8th in a lecture room. Please take this exam because this occupies the major part of the grade evaluation.
(Depending on the situation of COVID-19, however, the form of the exam might be changed.)

Notes for the exam:
*Please place your student ID card on the desk during the exam so that examiners can see it.
*What you can see during the exam is limited only to your hand-written summary written on both sides of one sheet of A4 paper. Reduced copies, that made by other people, and printed-out one, are not allowed for this.

Details will be announced such as by e-mail.

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).

Takashi Sasabe: sasabe.t.ab[at]m.titech.ac.jp
Shuichiro Hirai: hirai.s.aa[at]m.titech.ac.jp

Office hours

You can ask questions regarding the contents taught during the class to the lecture by e-mail. The e-mail addresses are given above. Because you are supposed to do a review after each class, it would be a good timing for you to make questions on that timing. Asking questions just before the final exam (except questions on the class contents of 7th class) may be difficult to be answered by us because of very large numbers students enrolled in this course.


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.

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