Physics

Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics: Thermal Equilibrium

len Alfred Ajibola - Thu, 14th March, 2019 @ 12:04 PM

Topics in Physics

Derived Units: Similarities and differences with fundamental units Gravity: Facts on Gravity Relative Density of Substances and Specific Gravity Types of Heat Transfer: Conduction Types of Heat Transfer: Convection Types of Heat Transfer: Radiation Physics Scheme of Work, SS1, First Term Physics Scheme of Work, SS1, Second Term Physics Scheme of Work, SS1, Third Term Velocity and Acceleration Newton's Laws of Motion Importance of Gravity What is Density? Density of various substances Concepts of Force and Motion in Physics Motion and Speed in Physics Concept of Heat Transfer Concepts of Heat and Temperature What is gravity? Concept of gravity on the solar system Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics: Thermal Equilibrium Fundamental Quantities and Units in Physics


Academic Questions in Physics

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

Which of the following is a fundamental quantity?

  • A. Luminous Intensity

  • B. Area

  • C. Volume

  • D. Velocity

  • E. Concentration

  • F. Acceleration

An object at rest will temporarily stay in its state of rest, and if the object is in uniform motion, it will temporarily move in a straight line, unless an external force acts upon it.

The above statement refers to Sir Isaac Newton's first law of motion.

  • A. True

  • B. False

Which of the following statement is incorrect concerning gravity?

  • A. The force of gravity is generally considered the strongest force among the four forces that govern the universe

  • B. Your weight changes as you travel away from the earth

  • C. If we dig the earth until we get into its center, we will have no weight as a result of lack of gravity

  • D. Gravity prevents us from falling off the constantly rotating earth

  • E. If a hammer and a feather are dropped simultaneously in a vacuum, they will both land at the exact same time as a result of gravity

  • F. Weight is always a function of gravity

Isaac Newton Hit by Apple - Len Academy

Sir Isaac Newton was hit by an apple when he pondered on force, motion and gravity.

  • A. True

  • B. False

The movement of gaseous particles through a tiny hole is termed _____.

  • A. Osmosis

  • B. Diffusion

  • C. Effusion

  • D. Infusion

  • E. Defusion

  • F. Gaslusion

A lighted bulb transfers heat through a process termed _____.

  • A. Conduction

  • B. Convection

  • C. Radiation

  • D. Oxidation

  • E. Reduction

  • F. Electrical Induction

A measurement of how much the velocity of an object changes with time is termed _____.

  • A. Displacement

  • B. Acceleration

  • C. Speed

  • D. Momentum

  • E. Velocity-Time graph

  • F. Average velocity

Which of the following differentiates velocity from speed?

  • A. Distance

  • B. Time

  • C. Momentum

  • D. Inertia

  • E. Direction

  • F. Distance and Time



Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics:

Before the zeroth law of Thermodynamics was put forward, there had already existed 3 laws of Thermodynamics. These are:


Scientists came to a realization that these 3 sets of laws are incomplete with regards to temperature. They envisaged the need for a law that will introduce a formal definition of temperature.

Due to the nature and importance of this law, it needed to supersede the three existing laws. At that time, the three laws (named respectively as 1st, 2nd and 3rd laws of Thermodynamics) were already popular in the academic world. Since these three laws are widely known by their numbers, a numbering confusion came up.

An alternative of calling this new law 'the fourth law of Thermodynamics' wouldn't be ideal due to its position and importance. It was a scientist named Ralph Fowler who termed the new law 'Zeroth Law'. This was a naming caveat that has become popular to this very day.


The Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics states that if two separate bodies are in thermal equilibrium with another body, then they are also in equilibrium with each other.

Please read on the concept of heat and temperature here

Zeroth Law - Len Academy


To better understand what the zeroth law meant, we need to comprehend what thermal equilibrium is. This is explained below:

  • Two bodies 'A' and 'B' are said to be in thermal equilibrium if each body can transfer heat to each other when placed closed together but ended up not transferring any heat to each other.

    This will imply that both bodies are at equal temperature.


Now, according to the zeroth law, assuming we have three bodies namely X, Y and Z. If X = Y and Z = Y, then X = Z.


From the above expression, it will be observed that: if X and Y are in thermal equilibrium and Z and Y are in thermal equilibrium, therefore, X and Z must be in thermal equilibrium too.

So we can see that according to the zeroth law, temperature is a quantity worth measuring.

Please read on heat transfer here


When we put a pot of water on a cooking gas, we will notice the transfer of heat from the cooking gas to the pot and subsequently, the water. The water begins to get warm during this process.

As heat transfer continues, the water becomes warmer and eventually becomes hot. A point will be reached when the water starts to boil. Recall that the boiling boiling point of pure water is 100OC.

Thermal equilibrium for the pure water is reached at 100OC because the water cannot become hotter through boiling; instead, it evaporates as water vapour.


Although, temperature is not directly mentioned in the zeroth law, the law actually points us towards the existence of temperature as a quantity.

It can therefore be stated that temperature is the quantity that remains constant (the same) for all systems in thermal equilibrium.

The above explanations are summarized in the image below:

Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics - Len Academy

Kindly share this article via the links below:


len


Please click here to contact Alfred if you require any of the following services:

  • If you need a standard website at an affordable price.

  • Online training on the academic subjects: biology, chemistry and basic science.

  • If you require an advanced smart school management system (web application) for your school.

Click here to read on Len Academy Smart School Software.


Please click here to follow Len Academy on Google News.


Please Register here or Login here to contribute to this topic by commenting in the box below.


Amazing facts in Physics

Marie Curie was the first person ever to win two Nobel prizes. She won her first Nobel price for physics in 1903, and the second for chemistry in 1911 for her work on radioactivity.

The hottest temperature ever recorded occurred in Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley, California, USA, at 56.7oor (134oF) on July 10, 1913

Elephant on cumulus cloud - Len Academy

A medium-sized cumulus cloud has a weight of about 80 adult elephants.

You can think of cumulus cloud as a detached, individual, cauliflower-shaped cloud often seen in fair weather conditions

Leaning Tower of Pisa - Len Academy

The reason the Leaning Tower of Pisa is tilted is the same reason it's still standing

One quarter of an apple is filled with air and that's why they float in water

Alfred Noble - Len Academy

The Nobel price was named after its founder, Alfred Noble. He is a Swedish, born on October 21, 1833; and was the inventor of dynamite. He was also a a famous scientist and a successful business man.

Glass Ball - Len Academy

Glass balls bounce higher than rubber balls

Every planet has its own unique gravitational force. For instance, Mars has a gravity of 3.711 m/s2 while earth’s gravitational force is 9.807m/s2.

When two metals are put together in space, they will stick together as if they are welded. This phenomenon is called cold welding

The fastest animal on land is cheetah. It can reach a maximum speed of about 113km per hour.


Notable points in Physics

The Standard International (SI) unit for density is kilogram per cubic metre (Kg/m3).

The table below shows various substances with their densities:

Substance

Density (Kg/m3)

Helium

0.179

Air (1atm and 20oC)

1.20

Bamboo Wood

400

 Ethanol

810

Methylated Spirit

800

Benzene

900

Paraffin Wax

900

Ice

920

Water (Fresh Water)

1000


Please read on density here

Force can be balanced or unbalanced.

When forces from different directions act on an object and consequently bring about the object's motion, then such forces are unbalanced.

Conversely, if theses forces bring about zero motion (static position or no movement) on the object of reference, then it's a balanced force.

In summary,

  • An apple hanging on a tree (without any form of movement) has a balanced force.

  • An apple falling from a tree has an unbalanced force.

If one covers a distance of 10,000 meters in 50 seconds and another covers the same distance in 5,000 seconds, we can conclude that the first person has a greater speed because he covered the same distance at a lesser time.

  • Speed is defined as distance travelled per unit of time. It can also be defined as the rate of change of distance.

Speed = distance/Time

Speed is a scalar quantity since it has only magnitude. Speed does not have a direction.

In physics, motion is defined as a change in the position of an object with reference to time.

Although we sometimes sit or stand in a fixed position, that doesn’t mean motion isn’t taking place. The fact that the earth is constantly rotating implies that we are indirectly moving along with it. We can thus say that motion can be relative to some frame of reference.

In the above paragraph, the earth (constantly rotating along its axis) is our frame of reference and everything present on earth is in motion (with regard to earth as a frame of reference).

Please read on the concepts of motion and speed here

Heat is a form of energy. It cannot be lost according to the first law of Thermodynamics; rather it will be transferred. The first and second laws of thermodynamics are stated below:

  • Energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can be transformed or converted from one form to another.

    1st law of thermodynamics


  • In the course of energy transfer, some energy is lost in the form of heat to the surroundings.

    2nd law of Thermodynamics

Please read on the concept of heat transfer here