ME209: Thermodynamics

Prof. U.N. Gaitonde


ME209 is a very nice and simple course with not much workload but quite some interesting learning. It is one of the most well-structured courses we have and if done well clears the basic concepts of thermodynamics in an airtight fashion. Prof. U N Gaitonde gives special emphasis to clearing up the most basic questions and concepts and works his way up to more involved concepts in quite an elegant manner. The only expectation from the student is to attend the lectures regularly and copy and study the notes made in class, and this is enough to take you through this course.


Course Content:

  1. Introduction, basic definitions and classification of systems
  2. Thermodynamic definition of work and adiabatic processes leading to the First Law of Thermodynamics
  3. Temperature scales
  4. Properties of steam, introduction to steam tables and the state space of water
  5. First law for open systems, including certain special cases
  6. Carnot engine, maximum theoretical efficiency of engines
  7. Definition and principles of entropy
  8. Second law of Thermodynamics for closed and open systems


Grading Structure:

There are 4 quizzes which are pretty straightforward and based on the lectures. Best 3 of 4 are counted. Of course, there are the midsem and endsem exams apart from the quizzes. Overall grading is pretty good with a good chunk of students scoring at least an 8.


Motivation and Key learning:

Thermodynamics is all around you. Why does heat flow in a particular direction? Why can certain processes take place only in one direction while others are reversible? What are the basic principles governing the cooling effect of a refrigerator or AC? Why can’t engines surpass a certain level of efficiency? Basic questions like these will get answered over the course of this course. Also, this course is a prerequisite for higher courses like heat transfer.


References and Resources:

Prof. UNG’s notes are adequate to sail you through the course. Interested students may refer to M.Achuthan and Moran Shapiro for further reading (although just attending classes regularly and taking down notes is all that is required to clear this course well).