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Entropy. Where T is the absolute temperature of the system, dividing an incremental reversible transfer of heat into that system (dQ).


(If heat is transferred out the sign would be reversed giving a decrease in entropy of the system.) The above definition is sometimes called the macroscopic definition of entropy because it can be used without regard to any microscopic description of the contents of a system. The concept of entropy has been found to be generally useful and has several other formulations. Entropy was discovered when it was noticed to be a quantity that behaves as a function of state, as a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. The absolute entropy (S rather than ΔS) was defined later, using either statistical mechanics or the third law of thermodynamics. Enthalpy. Enthalpy is a defined thermodynamic potential, designated by the letter "H", that consists of the internal energy of the system (U) plus the product of pressure (P) and volume (V) of the system:[1] Since enthalpy, H, consists of internal energy, U, plus the product of pressure (P) and the volume (V) of the system, which are all functions of the state of the thermodynamic system, enthalpy is a state function.

The unit of measurement for enthalpy in the International System of Units (SI) is the joule, but other historical, conventional units are still in use, such as the British thermal unit and the calorie. The enthalpy is the preferred expression of system energy changes in many chemical, biological, and physical measurements, because it simplifies certain descriptions of energy transfer. Enthalpy change accounts for energy transferred to the environment at constant pressure through expansion or heating. The total enthalpy, H, of a system cannot be measured directly. Laws of thermodynamics. The four laws of thermodynamics define fundamental physical quantities (temperature, energy, and entropy) that characterize thermodynamic systems. The laws describe how these quantities behave under various circumstances, and forbid certain phenomena (such as perpetual motion).

The four laws of thermodynamics are:[1][2][3][4][5][6] Quasistatic process. In thermodynamics, a quasistatic process is a thermodynamic process that happens infinitely slowly.

Quasistatic process

No real process is quasistatic, but such processes can be approximated by performing them very slowly. Some ambiguity exists in the literature concerning the distinction between quasistatic and reversible processes, as these are sometimes taken as synonyms. Maxwell's demon. In the philosophy of thermal and statistical physics, Maxwell's demon is a thought experiment created by the physicist James Clerk Maxwell to "show that the Second Law of Thermodynamics has only a statistical certainty".[1] It demonstrates Maxwell's point by hypothetically describing how to violate the Second Law: a container of gas molecules at equilibrium is divided into two parts by an insulated wall, with a door that can be opened and closed by what came to be called "Maxwell's demon".

Maxwell's demon

The demon opens the door to allow only the faster than average molecules to flow through to a favored side of the chamber, and only the slower than average molecules to the other side, causing the favored side to gradually heat up while the other side cools down, thus decreasing entropy. Origin and history of the idea[edit] Carnot cycle. Every single thermodynamic system exists in a particular state.

Carnot cycle

When a system is taken through a series of different states and finally returned to its initial state, a thermodynamic cycle is said to have occurred. In the process of going through this cycle, the system may perform work on its surroundings, thereby acting as a heat engine. A system undergoing a Carnot cycle is called a Carnot heat engine, although such a "perfect" engine is only a theoretical limit and cannot be built in practice.