Friday, January 4, 2013

1301.0262 (Hernando Quevedo et al.)

Geometric description of chemical reactions    [PDF]

Hernando Quevedo, Diego Tapias
We use the formalism of Geometrothermodynamics to describe chemical reactions in the context of equilibrium thermodynamics. Any chemical reaction in a closed system is shown to be described by a geodesic in a $2-$dimensional manifold that can be interpreted as the equilibrium space of the reaction. We first show this in the particular cases of a reaction with only two species corresponding to either two ideal gases or two van der Waals gases. We then consider the case of a reaction with an arbitrary number of species. The initial equilibrium state of the geodesic is determined by the initial conditions of the reaction. The final equilibrium state, which follows from a thermodynamic analysis of the reaction, is shown to correspond to a coordinate singularity of the thermodynamic metric which describes the equilibrium manifold.
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