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ERIC Number: EJ1090069
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Free Energy in Introductory Physics
Prentis, Jeffrey J.; Obsniuk, Michael J.
Physics Teacher, v54 n2 p91-95 Feb 2016
Energy and entropy are two of the most important concepts in science. For all natural processes where a system exchanges energy with its environment, the energy of the system tends to decrease and the entropy of the system tends to increase. Free energy is the special concept that specifies how to balance the opposing tendencies to minimize energy and maximize entropy. There are many pedagogical articles on energy and entropy. Here we present a simple model to illustrate the concept of free energy and the principle of minimum free energy.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A