Gibbs free energy


The Gibbs free energy is the Helmholtz free energy plus the product of the system volume and the external pressure. Changes in the Gibbs free energy at a constant pressure thus include work done against external pressure as a system undergoes volumetric changes. This proves convenient for describing equilibria in gases and liquids at a constant pressure (e.g., at one atmosphere), but is of little use in describing machine-phase chemical processes. Changes in the Gibbs free energy caused by a change in the applied pressure (at constant volume) have no direct physical significance. (See also enthalpy.)



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