Thermodynamics application in technology

Blackbody spectrum. Picture from
Micheal Uglo

WHEN you are feeling very hot in tropical climate like in PNG, you would want a cool breeze.
If you have fan in your house and switch that on it may do a partial job at a cost and the same goes for an air-conditioning. A natural cool breeze is the best panacea for you.
In science and particularly in physics there are basically four scientific laws formulated to cater for any aberration in the balance of heat and cold in temperature. These are called the laws of thermodynamics.
Thermodynamics is simply thermos, meaning the hotness and coldness of an object, and dynamics is simply changes. So together one could say thermodynamics is changes on how hot or cold an object is, especially in its given environment.
The World Encyclopaedia defines it as “the total heat, work and temperature and their relation to energy, radiation and physical properties of matter.”
For living things temperature is very important for survival. Anything above or below a critical optimum temperature would mean an organism will undergo an immense physiological trauma. It can determine survival or death.

Thermodynamics. -Picture from

There are important factors to be considered beside organisms when dealing with any other artificial applications. These factors are the temperature, pressure, density, and volume on a macroscopic as well as microscopic scale to connect quantum relativity and classical physics.
A car engine in its interior, applies the law of thermodynamics to have the engine running. A pressure build-up and release of pressure is harnessed via the cylinders and pistons to control the movement of the valves to keep the engine from exploding but somehow uses the pressure variations of the valves to keep the engine firing to provide the mechanical energy needed to run the wheels.
Understanding the transient relationship in pressure, volume, temperature and density keeps many and virtually all machines working as we know today in the contemporary world. These machines do tremendous amounts of work.
Comparably, manual labour can do little and is unmatched. A tractor can plough a hectare of land while a gardener doing manual work will only till a small plot of land in two to three hours.

Measuring piston to cylinder. Picture from

Relevance to technology
Thermodynamics is very important in both physics and chemistry fields of study. It developed on a macroscopic scale to take control over its observable properties as energy transfer and extraction. Some areas have been used as the sink for those transfers such as the water bodies as lakes or seas as heat sinks. An engine could be cooled by allowing water bodies to cool off the hottest parts of the engine whereby the heat from the engine is transferred to the water.
The atmospheric pressure could be used as the pressure sink to allow compressed air to escape. Also, the ambient air sweeping past the body and wings of an aeroplane exposed to high-pressured air particles maintaining the neutrality of the ionised metals due to the fast, frictional contact of the air particles that strip of electrons or valence electrons with the body of the plane.
It is known that the energy that is fed in from fossil fuel to a fuel tank of a machine is converted from a piston and cylinder cycles to revolve an engine shaft.
That transfer of mechanical energy to wheels, blades and ploughs, for instance do useful mechanical work like ploughing for man’s benefit.
It has to be remembered that not all the useful energy contained in the fuel is used. Some of that energy is converted to heat which is absorbed in the ambient environment and the rest is converted into sound that can be heard from the tractor ploughing.
It is articulated in the laws of thermodynamics that those energies in the form of heat and sound are not lost but are dormant in the environment in a degraded form known as an entropy. This can be proven with the fact that the enthalpy in the totality of the energy is conserved.
Thus, it cannot be reused for useful work because it is in a disorganised state. That presupposes that the so-called hydrocarbon fuel used to run the tractor is predominantly made of hydrogen and carbon atoms is in a refined and in a highly organised state to enable it to do useful work. When used they are not lost but in a disordered state.

Refrigeration system. Picture from

Application in technology
The application first and foremost as we referred above are the cooling of all kinds of engines that involve combustion and heat.
In a vehicle, a circulation of cold water and cold wind are through a fanning system around the engine is very important to maintain the transient temperature of the engine with its immediate environment so that heat is dissipated or extracted appropriately to maintain the running condition of the engine.
If the heat is not extracted to attain a working and amicable environment, the atomic and molecular particles of the engine will convert jump up from wavelength of the infra radiation to a wavelength of a diminished magnitude.
This will enable them more energy so like a particular spectra in visible light that can melt down the engine into flames following that particular order in the electromagnetic spectrum.
Another application is the regulation of temperature of a refrigerator. With a compressor as a central part of the control, excess heat is removed or passed back to the environment or room when the refrigeration is too cold.
This is all done through the devise called the compressor to act as the gas pump. Compressor works to reduce the air pressure to supply cold air. When air pressure is increased, it can absorb infra radiation which has a longer wavelength and thus can concentrate heat, so heat is supplied back to a cold environment via the compressor again acting as the gas pump.
A third application is the state of toroidal application in that when energy is not confined in its wall it is demonstrated in a cyclone or tornado. That is that particular event in terms of the laws of thermodynamics always maintains a state of equilibrium in that all energies are kept in equilibrium and in an entropy.

In the galactic sphere, the black body and the dark matter is a toroidal exodus of a dark mass very unstable in nature. It is in a state of instability and that is displayed through the findings in astrophysics. The spectral analysis in spectroscopic studies show of such vast sphere of the origin of the substances found here on earth. It is such a huge mass so much so that the frame of reference such as the sunlight is even bending into it. Its unstable nature speaks volumes of a thermodynamically unstable environment demonstrated here on earth by tornados.

Tractor ploughing. -Picture from

Arriving technology in thermodynamics
Folding and unfolding of macromolecules of biological origin through the statistical mechanics result from thermodynamics.
That is the regulation of heat at the micromolecular levels that result in this mechanical movement of the biological macro molecules as discovered by Manon Benedito, Fabio Manca and Stefano Giordana
Also, in nuclear magnetic resonance (MRI) is the thermodynamics of the molecules producing the spectroscopy for the molecular resonances.
It also produces a three- dimensional structure for biomolecular systems which students learn as a common knowledge to advance in this of study in advanced biology laboratories around the world.
My prayer for PNG today is: “Happy is the man who loves the Lord, On the upright, the Lord shall shine, like a lamp to light the dark, He is slow to anger, for He is God, not man.”

Next week: Aerodynamics in technology

  • Michael John Uglo is a lecturer in avionics, auto-piloting and aircraft engineering. Send your comments to my email: