A century after its initial publication, G.N. Lewis and M. Randall's book remains a significant milestone in the long and convoluted journey that led the ideas and models of thermodynamics to become an indispensable part of every chemist's knowledge. Lewis's approach to thermodynamics, developed through extensive and ambitious research, successfully merged two seemingly incongruent perspectives that had emerged in the late 19th century: the concept of free energy by thermodynamicists and the notion of affinity by ionists. With great insight, Lewis decided to preserve the valuable work done by ionists in studying ideal systems while introducing new concepts such as activity to make the approach more precise and comprehensive. From the outset, the text clearly demonstrates the close connection between its content and Lewis's research work. Through the book, Gibbs's view of free energy and the concept of entropy assumed a central role in chemical thermodynamics for the first time, a position they still hold today. The arrival of this innovative text was enthusiastically embraced by the chemistry community, and the enduring success and relevance of "Thermodynamics" is evident from the fact that its first edition remained available for nearly forty years without any modifications. Its impact on the conceptualization of chemical thermodynamics remains unchanged to this day and continues to shape the modern teaching of this discipline.

Renato Lombardo (2023). Thermodynamics and the free energy of chemical substances: l’introduzione della termodinamica di Gibbs nella comunità dei chimici. RENDICONTI - ACCADEMIA NAZIONALE DELLE SCIENZE DETTA DEI XL. MEMORIE DI SCIENZE FISICHE E NATURALI, 4(1), 243-249.

Thermodynamics and the free energy of chemical substances: l’introduzione della termodinamica di Gibbs nella comunità dei chimici

Renato Lombardo
2023-01-01

Abstract

A century after its initial publication, G.N. Lewis and M. Randall's book remains a significant milestone in the long and convoluted journey that led the ideas and models of thermodynamics to become an indispensable part of every chemist's knowledge. Lewis's approach to thermodynamics, developed through extensive and ambitious research, successfully merged two seemingly incongruent perspectives that had emerged in the late 19th century: the concept of free energy by thermodynamicists and the notion of affinity by ionists. With great insight, Lewis decided to preserve the valuable work done by ionists in studying ideal systems while introducing new concepts such as activity to make the approach more precise and comprehensive. From the outset, the text clearly demonstrates the close connection between its content and Lewis's research work. Through the book, Gibbs's view of free energy and the concept of entropy assumed a central role in chemical thermodynamics for the first time, a position they still hold today. The arrival of this innovative text was enthusiastically embraced by the chemistry community, and the enduring success and relevance of "Thermodynamics" is evident from the fact that its first edition remained available for nearly forty years without any modifications. Its impact on the conceptualization of chemical thermodynamics remains unchanged to this day and continues to shape the modern teaching of this discipline.
2023
Settore CHIM/02 - Chimica Fisica
Convegno Nazionale di Storia e Fondamenti della Chimica
Lucca
10-13 ottobre 2023
20
Renato Lombardo (2023). Thermodynamics and the free energy of chemical substances: l’introduzione della termodinamica di Gibbs nella comunità dei chimici. RENDICONTI - ACCADEMIA NAZIONALE DELLE SCIENZE DETTA DEI XL. MEMORIE DI SCIENZE FISICHE E NATURALI, 4(1), 243-249.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/639720
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