## Friday, April 24, 2009

### 20 key concepts in thermodynamics and condensed matter

I have just finished revising my lecture for monday 9 a.m. I will mostly review my slant on 11 key ideas from thermodynamics. I will then just flag 9 key ideas that I hope I will be able to teach the students during the next 6 weeks (13 lectures, 4 tutorials). Any feedback is welcome.

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Related to concept 10 (free energy), I think that a key concept in the practical application of thermodynamics is the idea that "the entropy of the universe tends toward a maximum" is equivalent to "the Gibbs free energy of the system (at constant T and P) tends toward a minimum" and the corresponding statement about Helmholtz free energy. This allows one to use just the state properties of the system to determine the direction of change and equilibrium conditions, rather than having to worry about the entire universe!

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