2
$\begingroup$

My teacher told us that only the ""Change in Enthalpy "" is definable. Whereever I looked for it, I got only an "equivalent " type definition like: It's a thermodynamic quantity equivalent to the total heat content of a system. It is equal to the internal energy of the system plus the product of pressure and volume. But change in enthalpy also holds the same kind of definition. Thanks

$\endgroup$
6
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is a reason why only change in enthalpy can be measured (experimentally). See, you can conduct a chemical experiment and measure the heat produced / lost in the reaction. Then you do some algebraic manipulation and calculate the change of enthalpy. But see, for a constant change in enthalpy c, final state and initial state enthalpy can be anything as long as their difference is c. So, you can't really know absolute enthalpy but the chane of it. $\endgroup$ – Mockingbird Sep 23 '17 at 7:01
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, enthalpy is definable. What your teacher really meant was that you can't know absolute enthalpy. $\endgroup$ – Mockingbird Sep 23 '17 at 7:03
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Can energy be defined? How about change in energy? ;) $\endgroup$ – paracetamol Sep 23 '17 at 7:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Paracetamol Energy is defined. Actually, every concept in science is defined whether you can measure it or not. $\endgroup$ – Mockingbird Sep 23 '17 at 7:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Mockingbird That comment was supposed to be "food for thought" <---- Intended for OP to ponder over it :) $\endgroup$ – paracetamol Sep 23 '17 at 7:19

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.