TP: Thermodynamic Equilibrium

Thermodynamic Equilibrium

Definition:

Equilibrium is the condition whereby there are no changes with time nor any tendency to change with time.

Note:

By no tendency to change with time, we mean that all driving forces in the system are balanced.

Note:

This means all driving forces are balanced.

Equilibrium implies:

Outcome:

Distinguish between equilibrium and steady state

Test Yourself:

Explain why only closed systems may be in equilibrium.

Test Yourself:

Give examples of systems at steady state but not in equilibrium.

Note that this necessitates a closed system because an open system -- where material flows across the boundaries -- would require that there is a tendency of the material to change position with time (also there is an out of balance driving force that creates the movement).

A stable equilibrium is one that a system will return to when perturbed.