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The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of pure water by one degree Celsius.


An insulated device that is used to measure the amount of heat released or absorbed during a physical or chemical process.

chemical potential energy

The energy stored in a substance because of its composition; is released or absorbed as heat during chemical reactions or processes.


The capacity to do work or produce heat; exists as potential energy, which is stored in an object due to its composition or position, and kinetic energy, which is the energy of motion.


The heat content of a system at constant pressure.

enthalpy (heat) of combustion

The enthalpy change for the complete burning of one mole of a given substance.

enthalpy (heat) of reaction

The change in enthalpy for a reaction - the difference between the enthalpy of the substances that exist at the end of the reaction and the enthalpy of the substances present at the start.


A measure of the disorder or randomness of the particles of a solution.

free energy

The energy that is available to do work - the difference between the change in enthalpy and the product of the entropy change and the absolute temperature.


A form of energy that flows from a warmer object to a cooler object.

Hess's Law

States that if two or more thermochemical equations can be added to produce a final equation for a reaction, the sum of the enthalpy changes for the individual reactions is the enthalpy change for the final reaction.


The SI unit of heat and energy.

law of conservation of energy

States that in any chemical or physical process, energy may change from one form to another but is neither created nor destroyed.

law of disorder

States that the entropy of the universe must increase as a result of a spontaneous reaction or process.

molar enthalpy (heat) of fusion

The amount of heat required to melt one mole of a solid substance.

molar enthalpy (heat) of vaporization

The amount of heat required to evaporate one mole of a liquid.

specific heat

The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of a given substance by one degree Celsius.

spontaneous process

A physical or chemical change that occurs without outside intervention and may require energy to be supplied to begin the process.

standard enthalpy (heat) of formation

The change in enthalpy that accompanies the formation of one mole of a compound in its standard state from its constituent elements in their standard states.


In thermochemistry, includes everything in the universe except the system.


In thermochemistry, the specific part of the universe containing the reaction or process being studied.

thermochemical equation

A balanced chemical equation that includes the physical states of all the reactants and products and specifies the change in enthalpy.


The study of heat changes that accompany chemical reactions and phase changes.


In thermochemistry, is the system plus the surroundings.

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