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Thermodynamics: Internal Energy

Internal Energy

As mentioned in earlier sections internal energy represents the microscopic energy within a system. Internal energy is represented by the letter U. The internal energy is basically the sum of different types of microscopic energies, such as the, sensible energy, latent energy, chemical energy, and nuclear energy.

Sensible energy is the kinetic energy of the particles within the system. This includes both rotational kinetic energy, and transverse kinetic energy. Latent energy on the other hand is the associated energy that determines that phase of the system. In other words a certain amount of internal energy is required for the system to have solid phase, a liquid phase, or a gas phase. The chemical energy is the measurement of the energy between the atomic bonds of the molecule. Finally, nuclear energy is the amount of energy of associated to the nuclear bonds of an atoms nucleus.

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