Academic year
Subject Area
Área Científica do Menor
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

General Physics I, General Physics II; Mathematical Analysis I, Mathematical Analysis II.

Teaching Methods

Lectures presenting the main concepts, with the right approach to this unit.
Lectures to discuss and solve problems aiming to connect the studied concepts with practical examples, as thermal machines and estimations of physics quantities specific to the area of Thermodynamics.
Laboratory classes where the students apply the theoretical concepts in simple experiments.
Support of the students individual effort in the search of theoretical and experimental information, and in its systematic analysis.

Learning Outcomes

Expand the knowledge in a fundamental area of science and engineering which is Thermodynamics.
Capacity of search and use of bibliography, to organize a coherent body of information on this area of knowledge.
Capacity of problem solving, including the development of the required mathematical competences.
Capacity to implement, perform and analyze the results of simple experiments related with the unit contents.
Contribution to the increase of general scientific culture, motivating to study other areas where Thermodynamics has important applications.

Competence in information management
Competence in critical reasoning
Competence in practical application of theoretical knowledge
Competence in analysis and synthesis
Attention to quality
Competence in oral and written communication
Knowledge of a foreign language
Competence on problem solving.

Work Placement(s)



1 - Fundamental concepts
Thermodynamic systems and variables. Thermodynamic processes and equilibrium. State equation and internal energy equation.
2 - Law zero
Temperature. Thermal equilibrium. Thermometers and temperature scales. Fixed points. Kelvin scale. Water triple point. Microscopic concept of temperature. Volume expansion and isothermal compressibility coefficients.
3 - First law
Work and heat. Thermal capacities at constant pressure and volume. Enthalpy. Internal energy of perfect gases. Energy equipartition. Heat transfer processes. Phase transitions.
4 - Second  law
Cyclic heat machines. Carnot cycle. Entropy. Clausius theorem. Reversible and irreversible cycles. Thermodynamic's fundamental relation. Helmholtz and Gibbs functions. Thermodynamic potentials. Maxwell relations. Principles of maximal entropy and minimal internal energy.
5 - Third law
Formulations of Nernst and Planck.

Head Lecturer(s)

Carlos Manuel Baptista Fiolhais

Assessment Methods

Assessment B
Laboratory work or Field work: 20.0%
Frequency: 80.0%

Assessment A
Laboratory work or Field work: 20.0%
Exam: 80.0%


1. M.W. Zemansky e R.H. Dittman,  "Calor e Termodinâmica" Ed. Guanabara Dois, Rio de Janeiro (1978).
2. F.W. Sears e G. L. Salinger,  "Termodinâmica, Teoria cinética e Termodinâmica Estatística" Ed. Guanabara Dois, Rio de Janeiro (1978).
3. J. Guémez, C. Fiolhais e M. Fiolhais, "Fundamentos de Termodinâmica do Equilíbrio", Serviço de Educação da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (1998), Lisboa.