(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

1. Explain the term thermodynamic potential.

2. Explain the motivations for defining the enthalpy, the Helmholtz free energy and the Gibbs free energy.

3. The Helmholtz and the Gibbs free energy are measures of the distance to thermodynamic equilibrium. Explain.

2. Relevant equations

H = U + PV

F = U - TS

G = U + PV - TS

3. The attempt at a solution

1. The wordis used because the potentials make sense only in the theory of thermodynamics?thermodynamic

The word potential in mechanics refers to the integral of force with respect to distance, however I don't see how that definition extends over to the thermodynamics.

2. Enthalpy, Hemlholtz free energy and Gibbs free energy are simply different combinations of some basic functions, i.e. U, PV and TS.

U is a number that has been found to be invariant for a closed system and for some unknown reason is called energy. This so-called energy can transfer itself from one system to another, however no amount of itself is lost or created in the process.

The transfer of energy takes place only via contact of particles on the boundary of the systems.

Upon contact, particles in the absorbing system either

a) translate from one region of space to another, thereby increasing the volume occupied by the giving system. This type of transfer is called work.

b) do not translate from one region of space to another, thereby retaining the volume originally occupied by the giving system. This type of transfer is called heating/cooling.

a) PV refers to the work done in increasing the volume occupied by a system by V while it is at a pressure P?????

b) TS refers to ?????

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# Thermodynamic potentials

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