The First Law of Thermodynamics


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The two laws of thermodynamics.
Source: Urry, Lisa A.. Campbell Biology (p. 145). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

The First Law of Thermodynamics (Campbell Biology)

According to the first law of thermodynamics, the energy of the universe is constant: Energy can be transferred and transformed, but it cannot be created or destroyed. The first law is also known as the principle of conservation of energy. The electric company does not make energy, but merely converts it to a form that is convenient for us to use. By converting sunlight to chemical energy, a plant acts as an energy transformer, not an energy producer.

The brown bear in the picture above will convert the chemical energy of the organic molecules in its food to kinetic and other forms of energy as it carries out biological processes. What happens to this energy after it has performed work? The second law of thermodynamics helps to answer this question.


Urry, Lisa A.. Campbell Biology. Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.


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