the Second Law of Thermodynamics!

Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics
            The second law of thermodynamics is a tendency
                     Obstructions to the secondlaw make life possible
                            The second law of thermodynamics and evolution
                                         Entropy and Gibbs free energy,  ΔG = ΔH -TΔS


These are five big ideas involving the second law of thermo. Questions about them came from readers of secondlaw.com. However, that Web site already has so many pages that this new site was written.

We’ll be talking about them in relaxed fashion but with the goal of developing a sound qualitative understanding. (Equations will be minimized, except in the last section about the Gibbs function.) No reader asked about two topics, so each is mostly independent. Thus, there are some paragraphs that are repeated.

Chemistry students: If you're in a time bind or an exam is coming up, read students_approach.html for a shorter approach to understanding the second law and entropy.

Frank L. Lambert, Professor Emeritus
Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA 90041

Academic and professional biography

September 2012

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