Lecture Notes on Thermodynamics

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These are lecture notes for AME 20231, Thermodynamics, a sophomore-level undergraduate course taught in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. The objective of the course is to survey practical and theoretical problems in classical thermodynamics. The emphasis is on the axiomatic approach to equilibrium thermodynamics and its application to practical devices. However, there are some brief appeals to the non-equilibrium and molecular underpinnings of thermodynamics. The notes draw often on the text specified for the course, Borgnakke and Sonntag’s (BS) Fundamentals of Thermodynamics, Seventh Edition, John Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, 2009, especially Chapters 1-12, 14, and 17. In general the nomenclature of BS is used, and much of the notes follow a similar structure as the text. Some example problems have been directly taken from BS and other texts; specific citations are given where appropriate. These notes emphasize problem-solving and rigorous development of the underlying classical theory; the student should call on other reference materials to fill some of the gaps. It should also be remembered that practice is essential to the learning process; the student would do well to apply the techniques presented here by working many problems. An unusual aspect of the notes is the inclusion of accompanying text and figures related to the history of classical thermodynamics. Where possible, citations of original work are provided; most citations are linked directly to the original source material via click-able text. Additionally, an extensive annotated bibliography is provided. This is an attempt to fill gaps in most modern undergraduate texts, which at best provide small guidance to original thermodynamics scholarship.


Joseph M. Powers




Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
University of Notre Dame


Rahmah Agustira


Creative Commons





Joseph M. Powers, “Lecture Notes on Thermodynamics,” Open Educational Resource (OER) , accessed February 25, 2021, http://oer.iain-padangsidimpuan.ac.id/items/show/98.

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