The Thermodynamic Definition of Work

The weight which is raised by the batter-motor-pulley device.
A battery is connected to a motor and there is a pulley on the shaft of the motor.  When the motor runs, the rope winds around the pulley and the weight is raised.

Thermodynamic Definintion of Work

Work is done by a system on the surroundings if the sole effect on everything external to the system could have been raising a weight.
The dashed line represents our system boundary (the imaginary surface that separates the system of study from the surroundings). The region of space inside the dashed line is our closed system and everything else is considered the surroundings.
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Ch 4, Lesson A, Page 2 - The Thermodynamic Definition of Work