Syllabus for EGM-321



Thermodynamics is a study of the science of energy. Thermodynamics deals with equilibrium states and changes from one equilibrium state to another. Words like equilibrium, states, phases, thermodynamic intensive/extrinsic properties, systems, control volumes, processes, and cycles will be defined and used to show all aspects of energy and energy transformations. From the fundamental concept of conservation of energy, comes the First Law of Thermodynamics (attributed to Lord Kelvin and others back around 1850) where energy is shown to be a thermodynamic property. The fundamental concept of conservation of mass is used in conjunction with the conservation of energy to solve thermodynamic problems involving mass flowing across system boundaries along with various energy transport mechanisms (heat, mechanical work, non-mechanical work) that can occur.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics asserts that energy has quality as well as quantity where actual processes occur in the direction of decreasing quality of energy. The second law is used to develop the absolute thermodynamic temperature scale. Its application to cycles and cyclic devices, such as the Carnot heat engines, refrigerators, and heat pumps, will be studied. Expressions for thermal efficiencies and coefficients of performance for reversible heat engines, heat pumps, and refrigerators are included.

The thermodynamic property called entropy is explained by studying its uses in commonly encountered engineering processes. Unlike energy, entropy is a non-conserved property. A special class of idealized processes, called isentropic processes, is examined for entropy changes that take place during processes involving pure substances, incompressible substances, and ideal gases.

The application of thermodynamics to power cycles and refrigeration cycles concludes the material in this course. Of particular interest is the vapor power cycle in which the working fluid is alternately vaporized (steam) and condensed (liquid). Ways to modify the basic Rankine cycle to increase the cycle thermal efficiency will be discussed.



After completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Calculate unknown thermodynamic parameters using unit systems (SI and English) and the proper number of significant figures.
  2. Use thermodynamic definitions to express thermodynamic fundamental concepts (such as system state, state postulate, equilibrium, process, cycle).
  3. Explain the First Law of Thermodynamics using the principle of energy conservation. (Consider a fluid flowing across a control surface of a control volume; it carries energy across the control surface in addition to any energy transfer across the control surface that may be in the form of heat and/or work).
  4. Obtain values for thermodynamic properties (such as pressure, temperature, volume, density) of pure substances using instrumentation, ideal-gas equation of state, thermodynamic tables, thermodynamic charts.
  5. Solve energy balance problems for closed (fixed mass) systems that involve heat and work interactions for general pure substances, ideal gases, and incompressible substances.
  6. Apply conservation of mass principle and conservation of energy principle to steady-flow and unsteady-flow processes where energy and mass cross a control surface in control volumes.
  7. Explain the Second Law of Thermodynamic in terms of reversible and irreversible processes involving thermal energy reservoirs, heat engines, refrigerators, heat pumps.
  8. Determine the expressions for the thermal efficiencies and coefficients of performance for reversible heat engines, heat pumps, and refrigerators.
  9. Calculate the entropy changes that take place during processes for pure substances, incompressible substances, and ideal gases.
  10. Apply thermodynamic principles to power producing devices that operate either in closed cycle or open cycle modes.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct, at

Required Textbooks

[Note:  This course will cover Part I of this book.  This book is also used in EGM-323: Heat Transfer and EGM-330:  Fluid Mechanics courses.]


ISBN-10: 9780199572199


Thermodynamics is a three-credit online course, consisting of eight modules. Modules include an overview, topics, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

Course objectives covered in this module include objectives 1, 2

Course objectives covered in this module include objective 3

Course objectives covered in this module include objective 4

Course objectives covered in this module include objective 5

Course objectives covered in this module include objective 6

Course objectives covered in this module include objective 7, 8

Course objectives covered in this module include objective 9

Course objectives covered in this module include objective 10


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete application exercises, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to complete eight discussion forum assignments. Discussion forums are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

For posting guidelines and help with discussion forums, please see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Application Exercises

You are required to complete eight application exercises. Each of these application exercises presents a series of problems that will require you to apply the learning from each module to properly solve them.

For help regarding preparing and submitting assignments, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Final Project/Paper

This course requires each student to complete a final paper.  The paper will be your opportunity to demonstrate that you have the ability to transfer and utilize knowledge learned throughout this course.

Requirements:  Minimum 8-10 pages, double-spaced, using APA citation protocols.

For help regarding preparing and submitting assignments, see the Student Handbook  located within the General Information page of the course Web site.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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