# First and Second order phase tarnsitions

1. Sep 30, 2005

### thearny

First and Second order phase transitions

At a first order phase transition as energy is added the system will absorb it, it involves latent heat I s'pose, water to steam, gel to glassy etc.. but what happens in a scond order phase transition? and in both cases how is the specific heat capacity of the system affected?

Last edited: Sep 30, 2005
2. Oct 4, 2005

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
There is no latent heat associated with a second order phase transition. In general (and for the most part, but not always), the heat capacity in the vicinity of a phase transition goes like $C = k |T - Tc|^{-n}$. For a first order phase transition, n > 1, and there is a strong enough divergence at Tc to require a latent heat. For second order transition, n < 1.