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Chemistry   >   Reaction Thermodynamics

What Is Thermodynamics?

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Reaction Thermodynamics

In this course, Dr Nick Chatterton (Birkbeck College, University of London) introduces to us reaction thermodynamics as the study of the change and relationship between heat, work, energy and temperature. We begin by (i) defining thermodynamics and understanding the difference between endothermic and exothermic reactions, and the definitions of enthalpy of combustion and formation; and (ii) introduce Hess’ Law and apply it to problems using enthalpies of combustion; before (iii) focusing then on enthalpies of formation; and (iv) define and understand the components of a Born-Haber cycle for an ionic substance; and (v) finally use all of our knowledge from previous lectures and apply it to understand the relationship between the lattice enthalpy, enthalpy of solution and hydration of an ionic compound.

What Is Thermodynamics?

In the first mini-lecture, we begin by asking ‘what is thermodynamics?’ We understand it as the measurement of the relationship between heat, work, energy and temperature. When considering chemical reactions, we look at the 1st law of thermodynamics, and how this relates to the two different types of chemical reactions we encounter: endothermic and exothermic. To continue, we understand the definition of standard enthalpy changes, such as the standard enthalpy of formation and combustion, and how we can work out the chemical equations for the formation or combustion of substances such as methane and glucose.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Chatterton, N. (2023, February 09). Reaction Thermodynamics - What Is Thermodynamics? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Chatterton, N. "Reaction Thermodynamics – What Is Thermodynamics?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 09 Feb 2023,


Dr Nick Chatterton

Dr Nick Chatterton

Birkbeck College, London