On the equilibrium of heterogeneous substances : first [-second] part pt. 1

49. The Phase Rule Deep and retiring, the incisive mind of Gibbs was applied to mathematics, physics and chemistry.  At a time when the technology of steam engineering was half a century ahead of its theoretical understanding, Gibbs applied himself to the complex problems of thermodynamics.  He did as well in laying the basis of physical chemistry.  In a style difficult for his colleagues to follow, he outlined the conditions determining the equilibrium attained by increasing entropy in a thermodynamic system.
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49. The Phase Rule

Deep and retiring, the incisive mind of Gibbs was applied to mathematics, physics and chemistry.  At a time when the technology of steam engineering was half a century ahead of its theoretical understanding, Gibbs applied himself to the complex problems of thermodynamics.  He did as well in laying the basis of physical chemistry.  In a style difficult for his colleagues to follow, he outlined the conditions determining the equilibrium attained by increasing entropy in a thermodynamic system.  Gibbs evolved the "phase rule" or law determining the number of physical phases or states possible to a specific chemical system in equilibrium.  In 1901 the Royal Society's Copley medal was awarded Gibbs for applying his analytical methods in determining the relations between chemical, electrical and thermal energies.

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