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CH 321: Thermodynamics

A course guide highlighting Library resources related to topics covered in CH 321 Thermodynamics

CH 321 Group Project

CH 321 Spring 2016

Thermodynamics Group Project

Important Dates: 

  • March 14:  Identify partner and discussed potential topic:  post on Canvas group names and potential topic.  Canvas will have instructions on March 14 where to submit this information.
  • March 16:  Class with Courtney Walsh, Research and Instructional Services Librarian
  • April 1:  Short typed paragraph description of topic with a list of two references
  • April 18:  Can submit draft for peer review
  • May 2:  Latest date to submit paper



Pick a scientific topic to research AND choose at least one area of thermodynamics as detailed below.  You will find, using Web of Science, at least two to three peer reviewed journal articles that discuss an area of scientific research and you will discover how thermodynamic concepts/principles were applied to this research.  You will write a short, 1000-word paper that details the scientific research and connections to thermodynamics that includes your references.


Requirements:    Paper should have a beginning, middle and end.  In other words, an introduction to your topic, a body that discusses the research and journal articles and connects them to at least one thermodynamic concept/principle you learned in class and a summary.

The journal articles must be cited and included in a reference section.  Note you need to use at least two to three journal articles. 



  1.  Gain experience writing a 1,000 word paper with a colleague
  2. Learn how to use Web of Science, an excellent tool, for searching the chemical literature
  3. Discover how current research can employ thermodynamic principles
  4. Read two to three journal articles on research that interests you and connects to Thermodynamics
  5. Become familiar with the format of a journal article

Potential Topics:  refrigeration, solar power, biomedical applications, supercritical fluids, liquid crystals, fuel cells, superconductors, food and energy reserves, weather, polymer surface, instrumental techniques:  contact angle analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, etc.

Thermodynamic concepts/principles:  The perfect gas, Real Gases, First law, Internal Energy, Enthalpy, Heat Capacity, Joule-Thompson Effect, The Second Law, Entropy Changes, The Third law, Free Energy (Gibbs, Helmholtz), Concentrating on Systems and combining 1st and 2nd laws, Physical Transformations, Phase Diagrams-Pure Substances, Thermodynamics of Mixing, Chemical Potential, Solutions, Chemical Equilibrium, response of equilibria to conditions, electrical properties of molecules, polarization, interactions between molecules (intermolecular forces:  hydrogen bonding, dipole-dipole, dipole-induced dipole), liquids: surface tension, capillary action, surface films.