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ERIC Number: EJ1014513
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
A Comparison of Local and Global Formulations of Thermodynamics
DeVoe, Howard
Journal of Chemical Education, v90 n5 p591-597 May 2013
Several educators have advocated teaching thermodynamics using a"global" approach in place of the conventional "local" approach. This article uses four examples of experiments to illustrate the two formulations and the definitions of heat and work associated with them. Advantages and disadvantages of both approaches are discussed. The article concludes that either formulation can be used for conceptual understanding of the first and second laws of thermodynamics, that the local formulation is usually less complicated, and that the choice of a formulation for evaluating thermodynamic quantities from experimental measurements depends on the experiment. (Contains 3 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A