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In this course, we shall focus almost exclusively
on those physical properties of everyday materials that are
associated with the motions of their
constituent atoms or molecules. In particular, we shall be
concerned with the type of motion that we normally
call ``heat.'' We shall try to
establish what controls the flow of heat from one body to another
when they are brought into thermal contact. We shall also
attempt to understand the relationship between heat and mechanical work.
For instance, to what extent does the heat content of a body increase when mechanical
work is done on it? More importantly, can we extract heat from
a given body in order to do useful work on some other body? This subject area is called
``thermodynamics,'' from the Greek roots thermon, meaning ``heat,'' and
dunamis, meaning ``power.''