The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 226, Issue 5, pp 1001–1015 | Cite as

Thermodynamic origin and graphical methods of phase theory

  • René Céolin
  • Ivo B. Rietveld
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Phase Equilibria and Their Applications


Thermodynamics is often considered difficult to understand due to extensive use of mathematics. In the present paper, a graphical approach will be used to explain the origin of phase diagrams starting from the fundamental equation of thermodynamics dU = TdsPdv defined by J.W. Gibbs. The characteristic variables of this equation are the specific entropy s and the specific volume v, which lead in a straightforward way to s-v phase diagrams. It will be demonstrated through monotonicity of the internal energy curves of the different phases of the system and graphical Legendre transformations how pressure-entropy (P-s) and temperature-volume (T-v) phase diagrams are linked to s-v phase diagrams and how the latter two phase diagrams are related to pressure-temperature (P-T) phase diagrams.


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences and Springer 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LETIAM, EA7357, IUT Orsay, Université Paris Sud, rue NoetzlinOrsay CedexFrance
  2. 2.Caractérisation des Matériaux Moléculaires à Activité Thérapeutique - CAMMAT, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université Paris DescartesParisFrance

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