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Homework Help: Perfect heat powered engine, my TA says:

  1. Dec 4, 2006 #1
    my TA in my physics class told us that if there was a perfect engine powered by heat (100% efficent) then the mechanical energy generated by the engine would be the same as the amount of heat energy used by the engine. Im not sure what he is getting at here, or trying to say by this, but is this even accurate?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2006 #2


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    This is true, if we were able to build a 100% efficient heat engine (which itself is theoretically impossible), then any heat we put into the engine could be used to do work.
  4. Dec 4, 2006 #3

    Andrew Mason

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    Following on what Hootenanny said, which is quite correct, I would prefer to say that this statement is not accurate. A perfect heat engine can not be 100% efficient. It can, at most be Th-Tc/Th efficient where Tc and Th are the temperatures that it operates between.

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