A PROOF THAT ESSERGY IS THE ONLY CONSISTENT MEASURE OF POTENTIAL WORK (FOR CHEMICAL SYSTEMS)
Final scientific rept.
THAYER SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING HANOVER NH
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An attempt is made to prove that all of the many seemingly independent measures of potential work, such as availability, exergy, available work, Gibbs free energy, Gibbs chemical potential, Helmholtz free energy, and other common energy expressions are necessarily all special cases of a unique quantity that is called essergy, a contraction of the term essence of energy. The proof is attempted rigorously for chemical systems, and then is extended. If correct, the proof will be of consequence to the design of any engineering system in which potential work is a significant factor, since it will show that by evaluating the one quantity, essergy, the designer will have taken account of the other seemingly independent considerations. A possible consequence of the proof may be a more general formulation for the concept of information based on Brillouins principle of the equivalence of thermodynamic information and potential work. The proof indicates that negentropy is not as general a measure of potential work as is the quantity, essergy. This result could imply that essergy is a more general measure of thermodynamic information than negentropy, an implication that might lead to a broader formulation about information and, thus, new insight into the foundations of information theory.
- Physical Chemistry