Interactive Self-Study Module: Fundamental Property Relations


This module uses screencasts and a simulation to explain relationships between fundamental properties. It then provides example problems to allow the user to test themselves. Your retention of material in this module will increase if you write down reasons for your answers to ConcepTests, questions in screencasts, and questions to answer before using the interactive simulation, and you try to solve the example problems before watching the screencast solutions. We suggest using the learning resources in the following order:

  1. Attempt to answer the multiple-choice ConcepTest and solve the example problem before watching the screencasts.
  2. Watch the screencasts that describe some of the fundamental property relations.
  3. Review important equations for fundamental property relations.
  4. Use the interactive simulation to further understand the Maxwell relationships.
  5. Try to solve the example problems before watching the solutions in the screencasts.
  6. Answer the ConcepTests.
  7. Look at the list of key points, but only after you try to list the key points yourself.

This module is intended for a thermodynamics course.

Before studying this module, you should be able to:
  • Calculate a partial derivatives.
  • Explain what a reversible process is.
After studying this module, you should be able to:
  • Describe what is meant by an exact differential.
  • Derive Maxwell relations from an exact differential.
  • Apply the chain rule, triple product rule, and expansion rule.