Thermodynamics is expressed by a mathematical framework of *thermodynamic equations* which relate various thermodynamic quantities and physical properties measured in a laboratory or production process. Thermodynamics is based on a fundamental set of postulates, that became the laws of thermodynamics.

### Introduction[edit]

One of the fundamental thermodynamic equations is the description of thermodynamic work in analogy to mechanical work, or weight lifted through an elevation against gravity, as defined in 1824 by French physicist Sadi Carnot. Carnot used the phrase motive power for work. In the footnotes to his famous *On the Motive Power of Fire*, he states: “We use here the expression *motive power* to express the useful effect that a motor is capable of producing. This effect can always be likened to the elevation of a weight to a certain height. It has, as we know, as a measure, the product of the weight multiplied by the height to which it is raised.” With the inclusion of a unit of time in Carnot's definition, one arrives at the modern definition for power: