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Glossary

Thermodynamic Equilibrium

A thermodynamic system is said to be in thermodynamic equilibrium when it is in thermal equilibrium, mechanical equilibrium, and chemical equilibrium. The local state of a system at thermodynamic equilibrium is determined by the values of its intensive parameters, e.g., temperature and pressure.

Thermodynamic equilibrium is characterized by the minimum of a thermodynamic potential, such as the Helmholtz energy (for systems at constant temperature and volume):

F = U - T·S

Or as the Gibbs energy (for systems at constant pressure and volume):

G = H - T·S

A system that is in equilibrium experiences no changes when it is isolated from its surroundings.

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