Helmholtz Free Energy

In thermodynamics, the Helmholtz free energy is a thermodynamic potential that measures the “useful” work obtainable from a closed thermodynamic system at a constant temperature and volume. For such a system, the negative of the difference in the Helmholtz energy is equal to the maximum amount of work extractable from a thermodynamic process in which temperature and volume are held constant. Under these conditions, it is minimized at equilibrium. The Helmholtz free energy was developed by Hermann von Helmholtz and is usually denoted by the letter A (from the German “Arbeit” or work), or the letter F . The IUPAC recommends the letter A as well as the use of name Helmholtz energy. In physics, the letter F is usually used to denote the Helmholtz energy, which is often referred to as the Helmholtz function or simply “free energy."

While Gibbs free energy is most commonly used as a measure of thermodynamic potential, especially in the field of chemistry, the isobaric restriction on that quantity is inconvenient for some applications. For example, in explosives research, Helmholtz free energy is often used since explosive reactions by their nature induce pressure changes. It is also frequently used to define fundamental equations of state in accurate correlations of thermodynamic properties of pure substances.

Read more about Helmholtz Free EnergyDefinition, Mathematical Development, Minimum Free Energy and Maximum Work Principles, Relation To The Partition Function, Bogoliubov Inequality, Generalized Helmholtz Energy, Application To Fundamental Equations of State

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