# Basic question about an expression for Gibbs free energy

I'm getting into thermodynamics, and I have a basic question about the following expression for Gibbs free energy:

$$G = \sum \mu_i N_i$$

Is it correct that this equality only holds for constant temperature and pressure, as follows from integration over N of the expression for $$dG$$:

$$dG = -SdT + VdP + \sum \mu_i dN_i$$

• No, it is not constrained to just constant temperature and pressure. It follows from the definition of partial molar properties. Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 12:15

Both Chet Miller and Buck Thorn have provided good answers, and explained that

$$G = \sum \mu_i N_i \tag{1}\label{1}$$

is indeed a function of $$T$$ and $$P$$. One way to show that is as follows.

As you say, we can derive (1) from the Fundamental Theorem of Thermodynamics for a closed system in which composition can change:

$$dG = V dP -S dT + \sum_i \mu_i dN_i \tag{2}\label{2}$$

Now take the differential of (1):

$$dG = \sum \mu_i d N_i + \sum N_i d\mu_i$$

Equate that differential with the Fundamental Theorem (2), to give

\begin{align} dG = \sum \mu_i d N_i + \sum N_i d\mu_i &= V dP -S dT + \sum_i \mu_i dN_i \\ \sum N_i d\mu_i &= V dP -S dT \end{align}

which shows that a change in either $$T$$ or $$P$$ at constant composition necessarily results in a change in some chemical potential $$\mu_i$$. Hence, $$\mu_i$$ is a function of both $$T$$ and $$P$$, as is $$G$$ in equation (1).

For a system composed of a pure substance,

\begin{align} N d\mu &= V dP -S dT \\ d\mu &= \overline{V} dP -\overline{S} dT \end{align}

In the equation

$$G = \sum \mu_i N_i$$

$$G$$ is the absolute value of the Gibbs free energy at some point in state space. While not explicitly stated, the values of the chemical potentials $$\mu_i$$ are in general functions of composition and other state variables (e.g. T and p), rendering $$G$$ a function of these same state variables.

On the other hand, the equation

$$dG = -SdT + VdP + \sum \mu_i dN_i$$

describes an infinitesimal difference in the free energy between two (infinitesimally close) points in that space.

Neither equation puts constraints on T and p, that is, both are general.