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Introduction to Thermodynamics
Some useful constants in thermodynamics:
1 eV = 9.6522E4 J/mol
k, Boltzmann's constant = 1.38E-23 J/K
volume: 1 cm3 = 0.1 kJ/kbar = 0.1 J/bar
mole: 1 mole of a substance contains Avogadro's number (N = 6.02E23) of molecules. Abbreviated as 'mol'.
atomic weights are based around the definition that 12C is exactly 12 g/mol
R gas constant = Nk = 8.314 J mol-1 K-1
Units of Temperature: Degrees Celsius and Kelvin
The Celsius scale is based on defining 0 °C as the freezing point of water and 100°C as the boiling point.
The Kelvin scale is based on defining 0 K, "absolute zero," as the temperature at zero pressure where the volumes of all gases is zero--this turns out to be -273.15 °C. This definition means that the freezing temperature of water is 273.15 K. All thermodynamic calculations are done in Kelvin!
kilo and kelvin: write k for 1000's and K for kelvin. Never write °K.
Units of Energy: Joules and Calories
Joules and calories and kilocalories: A calorie is defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 g of water from 14.5 to 15.5°C at 1 atm.
4.184 J = 1 cal; all food 'calories' are really kcal.
Many times it is easiest to solve equations or problems by conducting "dimensional analysis," which just means using the same units throughout an equation, seeing that both sides of an equation contain balanced units, and that the answer is cast in terms of units that you want. As an example, consider the difference between temperature (units of K) and heat (units of J). Two bodies may have the same temperature, but contain different amounts of heat; likewise, two bodies may contain the same heat, but be at different temperatures. The quantity that links these two variables must have units of J/K or K/J. In fact, the heat capacity C describes the amount of heat dQ involved in changing one mole of a substance by a given temperature increment dT:
dQ = CdT
The heat capacity C is then
C = dQ/dT
and must have units of J K-1 mol-1. (The specific heat is essentially the same number, but is expressed per gram rather than per mole.)
Don't forget significant digits. 1*2=2; 1.1*2=2; 1.1*2.0=2.2; 1.0*2.0=2.0
Why Thermodynamics?
Think about some everyday experiences you have with chemical reactions.
Your ability to melt and refreeze ice shows you that H2O has two phases and that the reaction transforming one to the other is reversible--apparently the crystallization of ice requires removing some heat.
Frying an egg is an example of an irreversible reaction.
If you dissolve halite in water you can tell that the NaCl is still present in some form by tasting the water. Why does the NaCl dissolve? Does it give off heat? Does it require energy?
How is it that diamond, a high-pressure form of C, can coexist with the low pressure form, graphite, at Earth's surface? Do diamond and graphite both have the same energy? If you burn graphite and diamond, which gives you more e