GITAM, Department of Engineering Physics


Second Law of Thermodynamics

The second law of thermodynamics is a general principle which places constraints upon the direction of heat transfer and the attainable efficiencies of heat engines. In so doing, it goes beyond the limitations imposed by the first law of thermodynamics.

Second Law: Heat Engines

Second Law of Thermodynamics: It is impossible to extract an amount of heat QH from a hot reservoir and use it all to do work W . Some amount of heat QC must be exhausted to a cold reservoir. This precludes a perfect heat engine.

This is sometimes called the "first form" of the second law, and is referred to as the Kelvin-Planck statement of the second law.

Second Law: Refrigerator

Second Law of Thermodynamics: It is not possible for heat to flow from a colder body to a warmer body without any work having been done to accomplish this flow. Energy will not flow spontaneously from a low temperature object to a higher temperature object. This precludes a perfect refrigerator. The statements about refrigerators apply to air conditioners and heat pumps, which embody the same principles.

This is the "second form" or Clausius statement of the second law.