# Thermodynamics Heat Work Definition, Similarities, Differences

## Thermodynamics Heat Work Definition

Contents

### Heat Definition

• The temperature difference between system and surroundings.
• This exchange of heat takes place through thermally conducting walls (boundary).
• If the temperature of a system is higher than the surrounding, heat is lost from the surrounding and heat is gained when the system has a lower temperature than the surrounding.
• So, the amount of heat that is gained or lost by the system is symbolically represented by q.
• ‘q > 0’ is positive (+ve) when the system gains or absorbs heat.
• ‘q < 0’ is negative (-ve) when the system loses heat.

### Work Definition

• The energy between system and surroundings can take place in the form of work which may be mechanical, pressure-volume or electrical.
• For example, Take a thermos flask (thermally insulated) with some water in it and note down its temp., after doing some work (mechanical) by inserting a paddle and rotating it we will notice an increase in temp. This indicates the increase in internal energy, i.e., gaining energy by the system by doing work on it.
• The work done by the system or on the system is denoted by ‘w’.
• Work is positive (w>0) when done by the system.
• Work is negative (w<0) when done on the system.
• The pressure-volume work is also called expansion work.

### Heat and Work Similarities

•  Work and Heat, both are a transient phenomenon, i.e. these cross the boundaries of the system whenever system undergoes a change of state
• Heat and Work are observed at the boundaries of the system.
• Heat and Work are path functions
• Both are inexact differentials.

### Heat and Work Differences

• When heat is added, molecules start moving in different directions and thus, the system attains randomness whereas when work is done molecules attain an order.
• Hence, work can be regarded as an organized form of energy and heat as a random form of energy.