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Chemistry LibreTexts

9: Exact and Inexact Differentials

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  • Chapter Objectives

    • Understand the concept of the total differential
    • Understand the concept of exact and inexact differentials.
    • Be able to test whether a differential is exact or not.
    • Understand how to integrate differentials along different paths.
    • Understand the role of exact and inexact differentials in thermodynamics.

    Thumbnail: These are just three of the infinitely many paths between a state at point A at some time to point B at some other time. A discussion of exact and inexact differentials is strongly connected to understanding the differences between paths and states (CC BY-SA 3.0; Matt McIrvin via Wikipedia)

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