Worksheet: State and Path Functions

In this worksheet, we will practice defining and identifying state and path functions and explaining the importance of these variables in energy calculations.


Consider a process in which a system undergoes a change from some initial thermodynamic state (1) to some final thermodynamic state (2). Suppose that the thermodynamic variables of state are well-characterized for both the initial and final states, but the path (through the variable space) between the two states is not well-characterized. Which of the following quantities associated with the ( 1 ) ( 2 ) change-of-state process cannot be determined without a detailed specification of path?

  • AThe change in the Gibbs free energy of the system ( Δ 𝐺 )
  • BThe change in the entropy of the system ( Δ 𝑆 )
  • CThe change in the internal energy of the system ( Δ 𝑈 )
  • DThe work done and heat exchanged during the process


The statement below is given which one of the following names?

“The enthalpy change of a chemical reaction is independent of the route taken between the initial and the final states.”

  • ANewton’s Third Law
  • BRaoult’s Law
  • CDalton’s Law
  • DHess’ Law
  • EThe Law of the Conservation of Energy

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