15th Oct 2015: Thermodynamics; The Laws the History and How it Shaped Cottonopolis by Simon Ward


Come along to The Castle Hotel at 7pm to listen to Simon’s talk. Share a crust of bread, and learn what he has to share…


Title of talk:

Thermodynamics- the laws the history and how it shaped Cottonopolis.

Bullet points of what you would like to talk about:

  • Basic definitions
  • The four laws of thermodynamics
  • Open, closed & isolated systems with heat engines
  • Steam engines in Cottonopolis
  • The history of thermodynamics
  • The branches of thermodynamics
  • Demonstrations of thermodynamics

A few paragraphs on your subject:

This talk will begin with the very basic terms associated with physics and thermodynamics, discussing things like what an Ideal gas is and what is work, with a definition of thermodynamics itself. I will give a brief outline of different types of system (open, closed and isolated).
Moving onto the four laws of Thermodynamics with the curiously numbered “zeroth” law. I will then talk about how thermodynamics shaped Manchester and Salford during the Industrial Revolution with the high pressure steam engine powered by the Lancashire Boiler. With some descriptions of dramatic accidents when a steam engine becomes a closed system. This links nicely with one of Salford’s most famous sons James Prescott Joule (1818 – 1889) who discovered the relationship between heat and mechanical work. I hadn’t realised the Salford connection with Joule until I was chatting to Connor at another Ragged University event, which shows how good information sharing is.
So that everyone is not blinded by science I will go into the history of Thermodynamics from ancient Egyptian times via the Greeks, through to the Early 20th Century, with the most significant pioneers in the subject which wouldn’t be complete without Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot the “father of thermodynamics”. If there is enough time I will give a brief outline of some of the branches of thermodynamics which have evolved in the last 200 years. I hope everyone will enjoy my dramatic demonstrations with balloons and tea lights.

A few paragraphs about you:

I am a bank administrator for the NHS, with a Mental Health Trust. I help out with the Friends of Angel Meadow, and I am interested in local history which involves researching material from the archives in the Central Library. I have already done a talk for the Ragged University in 2014 on the Ragged Schools of Charter and Sharp Street. So I wanted to add a historical slant to this talk as well. I am also interested in mathematics, philosophy and IT.

What are your weblinks?

Public Email – [email protected]

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