Equilibrium and Stability
The first row of boxes shown in Fig. 3.1 depicts a number of identical systems differing only in their internal energies, \(E_\nu \), volumes, \(V_\nu \), and mass contents, \(n_\nu \). The boundaries of the systems allow the exchange of these quantities between the systems upon contact. The second row of boxes in Fig. 3.1 illustrates this situation. All (sub-)systems combined form an isolated system. We ask the following question: What can be said about the quantities \(x_\nu \), where \(x\) represents \(E\), \(V\) or \(n\), after we bring the boxes into contact and allow the exchanges to occur?