Heat, Work and Entropy: A Molecular Level Illustration©
Jeffrey A. Draves
Monmouth College
Department of Chemistry
700 E. Broadway
Monmouth, Il 61462
United States
mail to: jeffd@monm.edu

This worksheet is intended to help students understand the difference between heat and work at the molecular level and to appreciate the proper use of the term (dis)order when applied to entropy. The worksheet makes use of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and classical thermodynamics to illustrate these differences. The worksheet is simple to execute and has been tested in both Mathcad versions 6 and 8. Questions and Exercises are placed throughout the worksheet which help guide students and draw connections between concepts. The author has found that the illustration is best appreciated after classical thermodynamics, quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics have been introduced. However, the worksheet can be used at several other places in the Physical Chemistry curriculum but students will have great difficulty in understanding the implications of the particle-in-a-box if background material is not provided.
Editor's Commentary
Audiences: Upper-Division Undergraduate
Pedagogies: Computer-Based Learning
Domains: Physical Chemistry
Topics: Mathematics / Symbolic Mathematics, Quantum Chemistry, Statistical Mechanics, Thermodynamics
File NameDescriptionSoftware TypeSoftware Version
WorkandHeat3DHighT.mcd JCE Mathcad 11 Computational Document Mathcad 11
Work and Heat 3D HighT.pdf Read-Only Document derived from Mathcad 11 files.
JCE JCE Subscribers only: name and password or institutional IP number access required.
Draves, Jeffrey A. J. Chem. Educ. 2004, 81, 1535.
Comments to: Jeffrey A. Draves at jeffd@monm.edu
©Copyright 2004 Journal of Chemical Education