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First and Second order phase tarnsitions

  1. Sep 30, 2005 #1
    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. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2005 #2


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    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 [itex]C = k |T - Tc|^{-n}[/itex]. 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.
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