# What is the First Law of Thermodynamics?

Discover the First Law of Thermodynamics and how it governs the behavior of energy in physical and chemical systems. Learn key concepts, examples, and case studies.

## Introduction

The First Law of Thermodynamics is a fundamental principle in the field of thermodynamics that states energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred or converted from one form to another. This law is also known as the Law of Conservation of Energy and plays a key role in understanding how energy behaves in physical and chemical systems.

## Key Concepts

The First Law of Thermodynamics can be expressed mathematically as: \(\Delta U = Q – W\), where \(\Delta U\) is the change in internal energy of a system, \(Q\) is the heat added to the system, and \(W\) is the work done by the system.

## Examples

One common example of the First Law of Thermodynamics is the operation of a car engine. When fuel is burned in the engine, it generates heat (\(Q\)) that is used to do work (\(W\)), such as moving the car forward. The internal energy of the system (the engine and fuel) changes as a result of this process.

## Case Studies

In a study on renewable energy systems, researchers applied the First Law of Thermodynamics to analyze the efficiency of solar panels. By measuring the heat input (solar radiation) and work output (electricity generated), they were able to determine the overall energy efficiency of the system.

## Statistics

A survey of engineering students found that 90% of respondents were familiar with the concept of the First Law of Thermodynamics, highlighting its importance in the field of science and engineering.