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Thermodynamics is the study of processes involving changes in temperature and transformation of energy[1]. It is also important in describing the relationships between heat and work. It can be used as an engineering tool for describing power and energy systems.

There are 3 laws of thermodynamics:

  1. The first law states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. This law states that the energy contained within the Earth always has and always will remain constant.
  2. The second law states that entropy, which the level of disorder within a system or the tendency for things to move from a level of order to disorder, always increases as energy types are converted (e.g. heat to kinetic)[2].
  3. The third law of thermodynamics states that in a perfect crystal at 273K also known as absolute zero, the entropy is 0[3].


  1. Thermodynamic Concepts. Adapted from VW,S and B: Chapter 1
  2. Fullick AMcDuell B. Edexcel A2 Chemistry. 1st ed. Essex: Pearson; 2009.
  3. Lucas J. What is the Third Law of Thermodynamics? [Internet]. Live Science. 2016 [cited 5 December 2016]. Available from:
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