Worksheet: The Second Law of Thermodynamics

In this worksheet, we will practice defining the second law of thermodynamics, which states that the entropy of the universe must increase.


Which of the following represents a necessary condition for a chemical reaction to proceed from reactants to products spontaneously?

  • AThe reaction must be exothermic.
  • BThe reaction must be endothermic.
  • CThe standard entropy change, Δ 𝑆 𝑟 , for the chemical reaction must be 0.
  • DThe total entropy of the reacting chemical system and its surroundings must increase.


Which of the following played a significant role in developing the concept of entropy and in formulating the second law of thermodynamics?

  • AThe equipartition-of-energy principle
  • BThe Nernst heat theorem
  • CThe Heisenberg uncertainty principle
  • DThe formulation and analysis of the Carnot cycle and heat engine


Which of the following statements does not conform to the laws of thermodynamics?

  • AThe energy of the universe always remains constant in any change-of-state process.
  • BThe entropy of the universe always increases in a spontaneous change-of-state process.
  • CThe entropy of a system always decreases with a decrease in the temperature of the system.
  • DThe entropy of any chemically pure substance approaches a value of zero as the temperature of the substance approaches a value of 0 K, and at 𝑇 = 0 K , 𝑆 = 0 .

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