CH353 - Physical Chemistry I
Spring 2012, Unique 52135

Lecture Summary, 29 February 2012

Phase transitions:  A few definitions:

Phase: a form of matter that is uniform in its chemical and physical composition.  That does not mean it has to be pure, just homogeneous.

Phase transition:  the conversion of one phase to another, which occurs at characteristic temperatures and pressures and which can be expressed on a phase diagram.

Phase diagram:  plot of pressure (y-axis) vs. temperature (x-axis) that shows regions of thermodynamic space at which various phases are stable.  Phase transitions occur at the boundaries between two stable phases.

We drew a couple generic phase diagrams and definied some interesting characteristics, such as the triple point and the critical point.  There are many examples of phase diagrams in your text book.