Molecular dynamic computer simulation models for teaching thermodynamic principles

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Conference Proceeding
ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2011, 2011, 5 pp. 259 - 268
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Modern mechanical engineers need to learn more than the traditional classical approaches to thermodynamics and heat transfer. Matter is comprised of molecules and in many situations the behavior of these molecules may be modeled using hard spheres whose motion is governed by Newtonian mechanics. This is particularly true in those situations involving relatively low density gases, that are valuable in introducing the concepts of thermodynamics. This paper presents some models that have been developed using simple-to-use software that students can handle in a time-efficient way during class-room situations, using only Newtonian Mechanics. Experience indicates that students have many conceptual difficulties when studying engineering thermodynamics. Simple molecular dynamic approaches promise to give students a more intuitive understanding of these thermal areas. Copyright © 2011 by ASME.
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