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Thermochemistry Terms

Thermochemistry Terms

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Law of Conservation of Energy
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States that energy cannot be created or destroyed but can be converted from one form to another.
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Potential Energy
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The energy possessed by an object due to its position relative to other objects, internal stress, or electrical charge.
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Kinetic Energy
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The energy possessed by an object due to its own movement.
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Heat
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Involves the transfer of energy from one object to another due to a difference in temperature. Measured in Joules (J).
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Temperature
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A measurement that is proportional to the average kinetic energy of the molecules of a substance.
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Work
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A force acting over a distance on an object. Measured in Joules (J).
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State Function
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A property of a system that is path-independent (is only dependent on the current state of the system, not on the way in which the system acquired that state).
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Process Functions
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A quantity whose value depends on the path of a process through which equilibrium is achieved. In other words, it is path-dependent.
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System
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The portion of the universe being studied.
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Surroundings
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Everything in the universe other than the system being examined.
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Exothermic
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A reaction that is accompanied by the release of heat or energy. In terms of enthalpy, exothermic reactions have a -∆H
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Endothermic
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A reaction that is accompanied by the absorption of heat or energy. In terms of enthalpy, exothermic reactions have a +∆H
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Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics
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When two systems are in thermal equilibrium with a third system, they must all be in thermal equilibrium with each other.
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First Law of Thermodynamics
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The energy of the universe is constant and energy cannot be created or destroyed.
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Second Law of Thermodynamics
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The entropy of an isolated system or cyclic process either stays the same or increases - it never decreases.
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Third Law of Thermodynamics
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The entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches absolute zero (0 Kelvin).
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Enthalpy
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A thermodynamic quantity equivalent to the total heat content of a system.
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Entropy
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A thermodynamic measurement of the dispersal of energy in a system or the randomness of a system.
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