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Gibbs energy allows us to account for the entropy change in the environment due to a system-based process by using system properties and without analysing the environment. Gibbs energy must decrease in all real processes though we can create coupled processes to allow processes that do not satisfy this requirement to exist. This coupling is essential in biology to allow life to exist.

The third law of thermodynamics tells us that it is impossible to reach absolute zero (0K) but we can achieve very low temperatures at which some materials exhibit superconductivity. Recent research suggests that we can go beyond absolute zero.

See the Key Relationships PDF at the bottom of the page to reflect on what you have covered this week

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This article is from the free online course:

Energy: Thermodynamics in Everyday Life

University of Liverpool