This course provides an introduction to the most powerful engineering principles you will ever learn - Thermodynamics: the science of transferring energy from one place or form to another place or form. We will introduce the tools you need to analyze energy systems from solar panels, to engines, to insulated coffee mugs.
More specifically, we will cover the topics of mass and energy conservation principles; first law analysis of control mass and control volume systems; properties and behavior of pure substances; and applications to thermodynamic systems operating at steady state conditions.
The class consists of lecture videos, which average 8 to 12 minutes in length. The videos include integrated In-Video Quiz questions. There are also quizzes at the end of each section, which include problems to practice your analytical skills that are not part of video lectures. There are no exams.
Each question is worth 1 point. A correct answer is worth +1 point. An incorrect answer is worth 0 points. There is no partial credit. You can attempt each quiz up to three times every 8 hours, with an unlimited number of total attempts. The number of questions that need to be answered correctly to pass are displayed at the beginning of each quiz. Following the Mastery Learning model, students must pass all 8 practice quizzes with a score of 80% or higher in order to complete the course.
In this module, we frame the context of energy and power supply and demand around the world. You will learn that understanding and correctly using units are critical skills for successfully analyzing energy systems. It is also important to be able to identify and categorize systems as “open” or “closed” and “steady state” or “transient”. Thermodynamics is a topic that is very notation intense, but the notation is very helpful as a check on our assumptions and our mathematics. Additionally, in this module we will refresh our understanding of some common thermodynamic properties.
Graded: Week 1
In this module, we will get started with the fundamental definitions for energy transfer, including the definitions of work transfer and heat transfer. We will also show (by example) how state diagrams are valuable for explaining energy transfer processes. Then, we have all the tools we need to define the 1st Law of Thermodynamics also called the Conservation of Energy. Your second assignment will emphasize these principles and skills.
Graded: Week 2
In this module, we introduce our first abstract concepts of thermodynamics properties – including the specific heats, internal energy, and enthalpy. It will take some time for you to become familiar with what these properties represent and how we use these properties. For example, internal energy and enthalpy are related to temperature and pressure, but they are two distinct thermodynamic properties. One of the hardest concepts of thermodynamics is relating the independent thermodynamic properties to each other. We have to become experts at these state relations in order to be successful in our analysis of energy systems. There are several common approximations, including the ideal gas model, which we will use in this class. The key to determining thermodynamic properties is practice, practice, practice! Do as many examples as you can.
Graded: Week 3
In this module we introduce the combined application of the Conservation of Mass and the Conservation of Energy for system analysis. We also review the common assumptions for typical energy transfer devices, like heat exchangers, pumps and turbines. Together these components will form the basis for all power plants used around the world.
Graded: Week 4
In this module, we tackle some of the most difficult systems to analyze – transient or time-varying systems. Any system where the energy transfer changes as a function of time requires transient analysis. Not only are these difficult problems to analyze, they are also difficult systems to design and interrogate. Some important transient problems include the start-up of a gas turbine or an internal combustion engine. Such transients are becoming more integral to the electrical power grid due to the introduction of more renewable power sources which are also more intermittent. These are very relevant and timely topics for the stationary power sector.
Graded: Week 5
In this module, we introduce some of the concepts of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. We will only discuss a small fraction of the vast material that falls under the topic of the Second Law. I encourage you to explore beyond our course material for very interesting discussions on the outcomes of the Second Law which include entropy, the absolute temperature scale and Carnot cycles. The most important aspect for our class, is that the Second Law provides a basis for defining the theoretical maximums and minimums for processes. Using these limits, we can define device and system efficiencies. We demonstrate these limits with examples of basic power plants. A good “take-home” exercise is to apply these limits to some of the devices and systems you see every day around you.
Graded: Week 6
In this module we focus on in-depth analysis of a Rankine power plant. The Rankine power plant is the fundamental design for stationary power generation when the working fluid is water (or steam) and the energy carrier is nuclear, coal, gas, or thermal solar power. We also learn that conventional power plants generate a lot of waste heat! Co-generation is a great way to use that waste heat. Can you think of a few ways you might capture waste heat and use it productively? Then you might have your next environmentally sustainable business venture!
Graded: Week 7
In this module, we have a brief discussion of energy carriers – including fossil fuels and battery materials. These lectures highlight the thermodynamic properties of these energy carriers and storage materials that make these systems so attractive and at the same time, so difficult to replace. As this is our last module of the course, I hope you have enjoyed this Introduction to Thermodynamics and that you have learned some new skills. Good luck on all your adventures in energy systems!,
Learn some basic principles of physics that help you understand how the world around you works. In our highly technological society, it is useful to have a basic understanding of the how and why the world works the way it does: that’s what physics is all about. It also involves a touch of history, a bit of mathematics, and many everyday examples.
Fluid-Solid Interactions happen when the motion of solids and fluids are coupled. The aim of the course is to give you the basic tools to be able to understand, predict and eventually mitigate these interactions.
Energy issues have always been important in international relations, but in recent years may have become even more important than in the past due to the widespread awareness of existing limits to energy sources and negative climate impacts. The course discusses global trends in energy consumption and production, various available scenarios for potential developments in the coming decades, the availability of oil reserves and the evolution of the oil industry.
We have learned a lot recently about how the Universe evolved in 13.7 billion years since the Big Bang. More than 80% of matter in the Universe is mysterious Dark Matter, which made stars and galaxies to form. The newly discovered Higgs-boson became frozen into the Universe a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang and brought order to the Universe.
The Origins course tracks the origin of all things – from the Big Bang to the origin of the Solar System and the Earth. The course follows the evolution of life on our planet through deep geological time to present life forms.
This course will cover the topics of a full year, two semester General Chemistry course. We will use a free on-line textbook, Concept Development Studies in Chemistry, available via Rice’s Connexions project. The fundamental concepts in the course will be introduced via the Concept Development Approach developed at Rice University. In this approach, we will develop the concepts you need to know from experimental observations and scientific reasoning rather than simply telling you the concepts and then asking you to simply memorize or apply them.
This course is an introduction to the finite element method as applicable to a range of problems in physics and engineering sciences. The treatment is mathematical, but only for the purpose of clarifying the formulation. The emphasis is on coding up the formulations in a modern, open-source environment that can be expanded to other applications, subsequently.
Nanotechnology and nanosensors are broad, interdisciplinary areas that encompass (bio)chemistry, physics, biology, materials science, electrical engineering and more. The present course will provide a survey on some of the fundamental principles behind nanotechnology and nanomaterials and their vital role in novel sensing properties and applications. The course will discuss interesting interdisciplinary scientific and engineering knowledge at the nanoscale to understand fundamental physical differences at the nanosensors.
Pour illustrer les concepts introduits dans la première partie, on traite ici des problèmes pour lesquels le système mécanique peut être considéré comme un point matériel. Cette partie couvre notamment les problèmes à traiter en coordonnées cylindriques ou sphériques, le problème des orbites des planètes et les référentiels accélérés.
MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – enable students around the world to take university courses online. This guide, by the instructors of edX’s most successful MOOC in 2013-2014, Principles of Written English (based on both enrollments and rate of completion), advises current and future students how to get the most out of their online study, covering areas such as what types of courses are offered and who offers them, what resources students need, how to register, how to work effectively with other students, how to interact with professors and staff, and how to handle assignments. This second edition offers a new chapter on how to stay motivated. This book is suitable for both native and non-native speakers of English, and is applicable to MOOC classes on any subject (and indeed, for just about any type of online study).