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For more information, please see full course syllabus of AP Physics B
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Carnot Engine

  • Carnot engine is a heat engine operating in a reversible cycle between two energy reservoirs. One cycle consists of four steps:
    1. Isothermal expansion of an ideal gas at a high temperature TH.
    2. Adiabatic expansion
    3. Isothermal compression at a lower temperature TC.
    4. Adiabatic compression to the initial state.
  • The efficiency of a Carnot engine is e = 1 – TC/TH.
  • Carnot principle: No machine operating between two energy reservoirs is more efficient than a Carnot engine operating between the same reservoirs.

Carnot Engine

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Reversible Process 0:55
    • All Real Processes are Irreversible
    • Ball Falls Onto Sand
    • Heat Flow from Hot to Cold
    • Container with Gas and Piston (Frictionless)
  • Carnot Engine 15:29
    • Cylinder With Piston
    • Isothermal Expansion
    • Insulate Base of Cylinder
  • Efficiency 32:40
    • Work Done by Gas
  • Carnot Principle 46:44
    • Heat Taken From Hot Reservoir
  • Example 56:53
    • Steam Engine with Two Temperatures
    • Work Done
  • Extra Example 1: Carnot Isothermal Expansion
  • Extra Example 2: Energy In Out as Heat
  • Extra Example 3: Gas through Cycle