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First Law of Thermodynamics Question

  1. Nov 30, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The first law of thermodynamics states ΔQ = ΔU + ΔW. What does the ΔQ and the ΔW represent?

    2. Relevant equations
    ΔQ = ΔU + ΔW

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I've never seen the equation set up like this before so I'm a little confused. I said that ΔQ is the heat supplied to the system and ΔW is the work done by the system.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2008 #2
    First law of thermodynamics is basically an energy conservation law. It just states that heat that is added to the system is partially converted to system's internal energy and to perform work. That's all. ΔQ is heat added to the system, ΔU is change of internal energy (sum of all potential and kinetic energy of its particles) and ΔW is work done by the system.
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