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Question w/ chemical potential, equivalence to Energy or Potential?

  1. Jul 25, 2013 #1
    I have a quick question, is the chemical potential $$\mu=\partial F /\partial N$$ where F is the free energy physically equivalent to a potential or energy?

    For example, in electrostatics, $$V=U/q$$

    Does $$\mu_{ext}= U \text{ or } V$$

    Also, same thing could be asked about gravity, $$V_g=U_{g}/m$$

    Does $$\mu_{ext}= U_g \text{ or } V_g$$

    Thanks ahead of time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2013 #2

    Andrew Mason

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    Chemical energy is the electrical potential energy of a particular molecular structure (of the reactants) relative to another molecular structure (of the products). It is just that it is too complicated to express in terms of Coulomb's law.

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  4. Jul 25, 2013 #3
    I am talking about the amount of Free energy or just plain old energy required to add or remove particles from a system. That amount of energy per particle is defined as the chemical potential. I understand that there is to some degree a Coulomb attraction present in all matter.. and that for a fluid or gas of ~10^23 atoms it is impractical to write out the electric potential for the system.

    Just worried about the basic definition of the chemical potential $$\mu$$
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