Mathematics of Hess's Law

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

In my chemistry class today we began covering the idea of Hess's law. That is, Enthalpy change is a state function that is independent of the path taken. We worked some example problems using several intermediate chemical equations to arrive at a system that expressed the overall enthalpy change. During these examples the equations were manipulated akin to matrix style mathematics. I was wondering if there is some connection and if so what is its process. I learned that enthalpy is a state function and thus can be express as an integral. My knowledge of Integrals is limited, we just started talking about them in Calculus last week. However, I was wondering if there was any link or established mathematical process which can be used to work problems using Hess's law. This question is more out of personal interest than a class requirement, I simply love making connections between mathematics an other fields of science.

Also, I was unsure if this should be posted in the mathematics forum or not. Apologies in advance if this post is misplaced.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
DrDu
Science Advisor
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Obviously there are mathematical techniques of the kind you mention used in connection with Hess law. Maybe a book on physical chemistry or on thermodynamics might be interesting to you, e.g. Atkins, Physical Chemsitry, or Moore, Physical Chemsitry.
 

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