Thermodynamic State and Equilibrium
When a system does not undergo any change, all the properties have fixed values. This condition is known as a thermodynamic state.
The word equilibrium means balance. An equilibrium state of a thermodynamic system is a state that can not be changed without any interaction with its surroundings. The factors that cause a change without any interactions with its surroundings are:
1. Pressure difference
2. Temperature difference
3. Chemical reaction
If a system is balanced in all respects, it is in a state of thermodynamic equilibrium. Balanced in all respects means :
· There should not be any temperature difference within the system, so that the system is thermally balanced.
· No pressure difference exists between any two points within the system (Neglecting gravitational effects) and between the system and surroundings, so that it is mechanically balanced.
· No chemical reaction is taking place, so that it is chemically balanced.
· If two phases are involved, mass of each phase remains constant so that phase equilibrium is achieved.
Hence, for a system in a state of thermodynamic equilibrium, there is no change in any macroscopic property.
BASIC CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
Thermodynamics is the science of energy transfer which deals with the relations among heat, work and properties of systems.
The name ‘thermodynamics’ is derived from the Greek words therme, meaning ‘heat’ and dynamis meaning power. Thus, thermodynamics is basically the study of heat and power.