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16.050 Thermal Energy, Fall 2002

An h-s diagram of a non-ideal Brayton cycle and a simplified gas turbine schematic.
An h-s diagram of a non-ideal Brayton cycle and a simplified gas turbine schematic, from the "Gas Power and Propulsion Cycles" section of the lecture notes. (Image courtesy of MIT OCW.)

Highlights of this Course

The already-extensive lecture notes for this course have developed markedly in recent years, and now include, in addition to concepts and examples, a set of "muddy points". Through student feedback, the instructors have compiled a list of frequently misunderstood ideas, or "muddy points", and identified and addressed these pitfalls right in the notes.

Course Description

This course is taught in four main parts. The first is a review of fundamental thermodynamic concepts (e.g. energy exchange in propulsion and power processes), and is followed by the second law (e.g. reversibility and irreversibility, lost work). Next are applications of thermodynamics to engineering systems (e.g. propulsion and power cycles, thermo chemistry), and the course concludes with fundamentals of heat transfer (e.g. heat exchange in aerospace devices).


Prof. Zoltan Spakovszky
Prof. Edward Greitzer

Course Meeting Times

Three sessions / week
1 hour / session

One session / week
1 hour / session




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