Reclaiming the central role of equations of state in thermodynamics

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Equations of state are key elements in the study of the thermodynamic behavior of physical systems. They describe the relationships between relevant extensive and intensive parameters for any given system and are useful tools for prediction. An equation of state is normally defined as the relationship between temperature (T), pressure (P), and volume (V) in a given system and is limited to the case of gases or liquids. The derivation, analysis, and discussion of equations of state relies on the use of "response coefficients" that can be measured experimentally and on the systematic manipulation of simple thermodynamic relationships. The use of response coefficient such as the compressibility of a fluid or the magnetic susceptibility of a paramagnetic solid to derive an equation of state highlights the importance of experimental work geared towards the measurement of these types of physical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-131
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education

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