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In this course, we shall focus almost exclusively
on those physical properties of everyday materials which are
associated with the motions of their
constituent atoms or molecules. In particular, we shall be
concerned with the type of motion which 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, does the heat content of a body increase when mechanical
work is done on it? More importantly, can we extract heat from
a body in order to do useful work? This subject area is called
``thermodynamics,'' from the Greek roots thermos, meaning ``heat,'' and
dynamis, meaning ``power.''