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Chemistry LibreTexts

14: Thermochemistry

  • Page ID
    46448
  • All chemical changes are accompanied by the absorption or release of heat. The intimate connection between matter and energy has been a source of wonder and speculation from the most primitive times; it is no accident that fire was considered one of the four basic elements (along with earth, air, and water) as early as the fifth century BCE. In this set of lessons, we will review some of the fundamental concepts of energy and heat and the relation between them. We will begin the study of thermodynamics, which treats the energetic aspects of change in general, and we will finally apply this specifically to chemical change. Our purpose will be to provide you with the tools to predict the energy changes associated with chemical processes. This will build the groundwork for a more ambitious goal: to predict the direction and extent of change itself.

    • 14.1: Energy, Heat and Work
      All chemical changes are accompanied by the absorption or release of heat. In this unit we will review some of the fundamental concepts of energy and heat and the relation between them. We will begin the study of thermodynamics, which treats the energetic aspects of change in general, and we will finally apply this specifically to chemical change. Our purpose will be to provide you with the tools to predict the energy changes associated with chemical processes.
    • 14.2: The First Law of Thermodynamics
      "Energy cannot be created or destroyed"— this fundamental law of nature, more properly known as conservation of energy, is familiar to anyone who has studied science. Under its more formal name of the First Law of Thermodynamics, it governs all aspects of energy in science and engineering .
    • 14.3: Molecules as Energy Carriers and Converters
      All molecules at temperatures above absolue zero possess thermal energy— the randomized kinetic energy associated with the various motions the molecules as a whole, and also the atoms within them, can undergo. Polyatomic molecules also possess potential energy in the form of chemical bonds. Molecules are thus both vehicles for storing and transporting energy, and the means of converting it from one form to another is accompanied by the uptake or release of heat.
    • 14.4: Thermochemistry and Calorimetry
      The heat that flows across the boundaries of a system undergoing a change is a fundamental property that characterizes the process. It is easily measured, and if the process is a chemical reaction carried out at constant pressure, it can also be predicted from the difference between the enthalpies of the products and reactants. The quantitative study and measurement of heat and enthalpy changes is known as thermochemistry.
    • 14.5: Calorimetry
      Constant Volume Calorimetry, also know as bomb calorimetry, is used to measure the heat of a reaction while holding volume constant and resisting large amounts of pressure. In this module, the basic assembly of a bomb calorimeter will be addressed, as well as how bomb calorimetry relates to the heat of reaction and heat capacity and the calculations involved in regards to these two topics.
    • 14.6: Applications of Thermochemistry
      Virtually all chemical processes involve the absorption or release of heat, and thus changes in the internal energy of the system. In this section, we survey some of the more common chemistry-related applications of enthalpy and the First Law. While the first two sections relate mainly to chemistry, the remaining ones impact the everyday lives of everyone.
    • 14.E: Thermochemistry (Exercises)

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