Which is more useful and easier: Dynamics or Thermodynamics for an EE student?

In summary, the conversation discusses the options for non-EE engineering elective courses at school and which one would be more useful and easier to take. The options are between statics and dynamics, with the preference being towards dynamics due to its potential for being more interesting and the similar underlying math. There is also a mention of the relationship between mechanical vibrations and electrical equivalents. The topic of thermodynamics is also brought up, with some hesitation about taking it without prior knowledge of mechanical dynamics. The mention of the speaker's father's interest in thermodynamics is also noted as a factor to consider.
  • #1
At my school an EE must take either of these courses as a non EE engineering elective (so many Es).

I was wondering with of these is more useful and/or easier to take. I plan on taking these courses this coming summer along with many others so I'd like to take it easy.

Although I find statics very boring so dynamics seems awful to me. Is thermo interesting to some of you? The little exposure I had in Chem and physics was pretty dull although not boring like statics is proving to be.

Note that this themo course is taught by the MechanicalE Department rather than physics.
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  • #2
Working on dynamics, I tend to think of statics as just a special case of dynamics where nothing moves!

Dynamics will probably be more interesting than statics, and it could be useful to compare mechanical vibrations, resonance, etc with the electrical equivalents. The basic math is the same for both so that may make it "easy".

IMO trying to learn themodynamics without any mechanical dynamics seems strange. You may get confused by too many new concepts that are not easy to relate to the real world.
  • #3
Well the reason I find statics so boring is because I've see all of these concepts in Physics, so I'm afraid dynamics will be the same.

We had like 2-3 chapters of thermo in physics (Kinetic theory of gas, Laws of thermo, carnot engines, etc)I'd also like to mention that my father wants me to take thermo since he runs an A/C company and is interested in the theory behind it all that he really lacks an understanding of. Although this is really a small point, its one I'd like to consider.

1. What is the difference between dynamics and thermodynamics?

Dynamics is the study of how objects move and change over time, while thermodynamics is the study of how energy is transferred and transformed between different forms.

2. What are the laws of thermodynamics?

The three laws of thermodynamics are: 1) the law of conservation of energy, which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred or transformed; 2) the law of entropy, which states that in any energy transfer or transformation, some energy will be lost as heat; and 3) the law of absolute zero, which states that as an object's temperature approaches absolute zero, all molecular motion ceases.

3. How does thermodynamics relate to everyday life?

Thermodynamics plays a crucial role in many everyday processes, such as cooking, driving a car, and even breathing. It helps us understand how energy is transferred and transformed in these processes and how we can use this knowledge to make them more efficient.

4. What is the difference between open and closed systems in thermodynamics?

An open system is one in which both matter and energy can be exchanged with the surroundings, while a closed system only allows for the exchange of energy. This means that open systems are more likely to reach equilibrium with their surroundings, while closed systems can maintain a constant internal energy.

5. How does thermodynamics relate to the concept of entropy?

Entropy is a measure of the disorder or randomness in a system. In thermodynamics, it is related to the second law, which states that the total entropy of a closed system will always increase over time. This means that systems tend to become more disordered over time, and energy transformations are not 100% efficient.

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