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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 13 Issue 4 (2008) pp 220-226

Rectification of Thermodynamic Inequalities as a Means of Characterizing Irreversible Phenomena

J. M. Honig* and Dor Ben Amotz

Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907,
Received May 24, 2006. Accepted November 5, 2006.

Published online: 21 July 2008

Abstract. A deficit function is introduced into the conventional treatment of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, by which one may relate the heat and work exchanges for irreversible processes to those of reversible processes. The conventional formulations for functions of state may then be generalized to cases where the intensive variables of the system and its surroundings differ to an arbitrary extent. This permits the contribution of irreversible processes to the total entropy to be specified in terms of experimentally accessible parameters.

Key Words: In the Classroom; physical chemistry; thermodynamics

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: August 1, 2008

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