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Thermodynamic Venn Diagrams: Sorting Out Forces, Fluxes, and Legendre Transforms

Kerr, William C.

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abstract
We show how to use a Venn diagram to illuminate the relations among the different thermodynamic potentials, forces, and fluxes of a simple system. A single diagram shows all of the thermodynamic potentials obtainable by Legendre transformations starting from the internal energy as the fundamental potential. From the diagram, we can also read off the Maxwell relations deduced from each of these potentials. We construct a second Venn diagram that shows the analogous information for the Massieu functions, obtained by Legendre transformations starting from the entropy as the fundamental thermodynamic function.
subject
entropy
free energy
Maxwell equations
physics education
citation
9 (issue)
79 (volume)
contributor
Kerr, William C. (author)
Macosko, Jed C. (author)
date
2011-10-11T17:29:29Z (accessioned)
2011-10-11T17:29:29Z (available)
2011 (issued)
identifier
Copyright 2011 American Association of Physics Teachers. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Association of Physics Teachers. The following article appeared in American Journal of Physics, 79(9), 950-953, and may be found at http://ajp.aapt.org/resource/1/ajpias/v79/i9/p950_s1. (citation)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/36266 (uri)
publisher
American Association of Physics Teachers
source
American Journal of Physics
http://ajp.aapt.org/resource/1/ajpias/v79/i9/p950_s1 (uri)
title
Thermodynamic Venn Diagrams: Sorting Out Forces, Fluxes, and Legendre Transforms
type
Article

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