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ERIC Number: EJ1014534
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Criteria for Spontaneous Processes Derived from the Global Point of View
Gislason, Eric A.; Craig, Norman C.
Journal of Chemical Education, v90 n5 p584-590 May 2013
Starting with the fundamental and general criterion for a spontaneous process in thermodynamics, delta S[subscript tot] greater than or equal to 0, we review its relationships to other criteria, such as delta A and delta G, that have limitations. The details of these limitations, which can be easily overlooked, are carefully explicated. We also bring in the important example of electrical energy to show how criteria for spontaneity are properly applied to electrochemical cells. The analysis in this article gains clarity from use of the "global" formulation of thermodynamics and from carrying out finite changes of thermodynamic properties rather than manipulating differential changes. Several examples are given. (Contains 2 tables.)
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