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2: Spontaneity, Entropy and Free Energy

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    • 2.1: Spontaneity
      Chemical and physical processes have a natural tendency to occur in one direction under certain conditions. A spontaneous process occurs without the need for a continual input of energy from some external source, while a nonspontaneous process requires such. Systems undergoing a spontaneous process may or may not experience a gain or loss of energy, but they will experience a change in the way matter and/or energy is distributed within the system.
    • 2.2: Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
      Entropy (S) is a state function whose value increases with an increase in the number of available microstates.For a given system, the greater the number of microstates, the higher the entropy. During a spontaneous process, the entropy of the universe increases.
    • 2.3: The Molecular Interpretation of Entropy
      These forms of motion are ways in which the molecule can store energy. The greater the molecular motion of a system, the greater the number of possible microstates and the higher the entropy. A perfectly ordered system with only a single microstate available to it would have an entropy of zero. The only system that meets this criterion is a perfect crystal at a temperature of absolute zero (0 K), in which each component atom, molecule, or ion is fixed in place within a perfect crystal lattice.
    • 2.4: Entropy Changes in Chemical Reactions
      Changes in internal energy, that are not accompanied by a temperature change, might reflect changes in the entropy of the system.
    • 2.5: Gibbs Energy
      Gibbs free energy (G) is a state function defined with regard to system quantities only and may be used to predict the spontaneity of a process. A negative value for ΔG indicates a spontaneous process; a positive ΔG indicates a nonspontaneous process; and a ΔG of zero indicates that the system is at equilibrium. A number of approaches to the computation of free energy changes are possible.
    • 2.6: Standard Thermodynamic Properties for Selected Substances

    2: Spontaneity, Entropy and Free Energy is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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