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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Thermal-Fluids Engineering 1: Basics of Thermodynamics and Hydrostatics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX


This course serves as an introduction to the field of thermal-fluids engineering, which primarily revolves around the conversion of energy between different forms. Thermal-fluid engineering applications encompass a wide range of fields, such as computer cooling, energy conversion plants, and transportation. Given that thermal-fluids systems inherently incorporate the principles of thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics, this course aims to provide an integrated understanding of these fundamental scientific disciplines. This synthesized approach enables a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and enhances the capacity to design thermal-fluid systems more effectively.

In this initial module, the emphasis will be on the fundamentals of thermodynamics and an introduction to fluid mechanics, specifically focusing on hydrostatics. The course will cover the following topics: the first and second laws of thermodynamics, entropy, the ideal gas model, thermodynamic cycles, hydrostatics, and rigid body motion of a fluid.

This course is based on the first third of MIT’s class 2.005 Thermal-Fluids Engineering 1, a core course for MIT Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering undergraduates. As such, this course is of relevance to undergraduate engineering students (e.g. mechanical, nuclear, aerospace, chemical) around the world and engineering professionals who wish to refresh or update their domain knowledge.


Topic 1: Basic Principles of Energy and the First Law of Thermodynamics
Topic 2: Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Topic 3: The Ideal Gas Model and Idealized Devices
Topic 4: Thermodynamic Analysis of Cycles
Topic 5: Hydrostatics and Rigid Body Motion of a Fluid

Taught by

Pierre Lermusiaux, Rachel Mok and John Liu


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