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(ĕn`thălpē), measure of the heatheat,
nonmechanical energy in transit, associated with differences in temperature between a system and its surroundings or between parts of the same system. Measures of Heat
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 content of a chemical or physical system; it is a quantity derived from the heat and work relations studied in thermodynamicsthermodynamics,
branch of science concerned with the nature of heat and its conversion to mechanical, electric, and chemical energy. Historically, it grew out of efforts to construct more efficient heat engines—devices for extracting useful work from expanding hot gases.
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. As a system changes from one state to another the enthalpy change, ΔH, is equal to the enthalpy of the products minus the enthalpy of the reactants. If heat is given off during a transformation from one state to another, then the final state will have a lower heat content than the initial state, the enthalpy change ΔH will be negative, and the process is said to be exothermic. If heat is absorbed during the transformation, then the final state will have a higher heat content, ΔH will be positive, and the process is said to be endothermic. The enthalpy change accompanying a chemical reaction is called the heat of the reaction. For a reaction in which a compound is formed from its composite elements, the enthalpy increase or decrease is called the heat of formation of the compound. Changes of state, or phase, of matter are also accompanied by enthalpy changes; the change associated with the solid-liquid transition is called the heat of fusion and the change associated with the liquid-gas transition is called the heat of vaporization (see latent heatlatent heat,
heat change associated with a change of state or phase (see states of matter). Latent heat, also called heat of transformation, is the heat given up or absorbed by a unit mass of a substance as it changes from a solid to a liquid, from a liquid to a gas, or the
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). The enthalpy change for a given reaction often may be used to tell how favorable the reaction is; an exothermic reaction involves a loss of heat and a consequent lower final energy and thus tends to be favorable, while an endothermic reaction tends to be unfavorable because it involves an increase in energy. However, there are other factors, such as entropyentropy
, quantity specifying the amount of disorder or randomness in a system bearing energy or information. Originally defined in thermodynamics in terms of heat and temperature, entropy indicates the degree to which a given quantity of thermal energy is available for doing
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 changes, which must also be taken into account in determining whether or not a given process can occur.
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For any system, that is, the volume of substance under discussion, enthalpy is the sum of the internal energy of the system plus the system's volume multiplied by the pressure exerted by the system on its surroundings. The sum is given the special symbol H primarily as a matter of convenience because this sum appears repeatedly in thermodynamic discussion. Previously, enthalpy was referred to as total heat or heat content, but these terms are misleading and should be avoided. Enthalpy is, from the viewpoint of mathematics, a point function, as contrasted with heat and work, which are path functions. Point functions depend only on the initial and final states of the system undergoing a change; they are independent of the paths or character of the change. For change in enthalpy with pressure or temperature See Thermodynamic principles, Entropy, Thermodynamic processes

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Physics. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A measure of the total heat content within a given sample of air. It is typically used to determine the amount of fresh outside air that can be added to recirculated air for the lowest heating/cooling cost.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the thermodynamic potential that characterizes the state of a thermodynamic system upon the selection of entropy 5 and pressure p as the principal independent variables (seePOTENTIALS, THERMODYNAMIC and ). Enthalpy is represented as H(S, p, N, xi), where N is the number of particles in the system and xi is the system’s other macroscopic parameter. It is an additive function; that is, the enthalpy of the entire system is equal to the sum of the enthalpies of its component parts. Enthalpy is related to the internal energy U of the system by the equation

(1) H = U + pV

where V is the volume of the system. The total enthalpy differential, given fixed N and xi, has the form

(2) dH = TdS + vdp

From formula (2) it is possible to determine the temperature T and the volume of the system: T = (αH/αS)p and V = (αHp)s. At constant pressure (p = const), the heat capacity of the system cp = (αH/αT)p (seeHEAT CAPACITY). These properties of enthalpy, at p = const, are similar to the properties of internal energy at constant volume:

A minimum enthalpy value corresponds to the equilibrium state of a system given the constancy of S and p. A change in enthalpy (ΔH) is equal to the amount of heat imparted to the system or removed from it at constant pressure, therefore the values of ΔH characterize the heat effects of phase transitions (melting, boiling), chemical reactions, and other processes that occur at constant pressure. Enthalpy is conserved upon the thermal insulation of bodies (at p = const), and therefore it is sometimes called heat content or total heat. The condition for enthalpy conservation underlies, in particular, the theory of the Joule-Thomson effect, which has found important practical applications in the liquation of gases. The term “enthalpy” was proposed by H. KamerlinghOnnes.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The sum of the internal energy of a system plus the product of the system's volume multiplied by the pressure exerted on the system by its surroundings. Also known as heat content; sensible heat; total heat.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The technique and procedures of the experimental work for determination the enthalpies of combustion of amides and anilides by the method of bomb calorimetry as well as the origin and purity of the compounds used in the experiment are described in our work elsewhere, in which we conducted the similar experiment with the same materials [4].
Due to the application of various kinds of heat treatments, differences in enthalpies and denaturation temperatures occur.
The formation enthalpies in solid state experimentally found were compared with those obtained by means of the group additivity method, with parameters recommended by Domalski and Hearing [14].
The calculated enthalpies of formation for the three boroxine compounds are all very negative.
For each of the species, we provide a table of gas phase enthalpies of formation along with a short discussion in Sec.
The low temperature compressor power, W[c.sub.L], is calculated using the enthalpies at states 1L and 2L and the mass flow rates through the low temperature compressor as:
We have carried out a comparative study of the gas-phase complexation enthalpies obtained by the HF/6-311+G**, B3LYP/6-311+G**, MP2/6-311+G**, MP2/6-311+G(2df,2pd), G2(MP2), and CBS-QB3 methods.
Reaction enthalpies and cure onset temperatures were determined from DSC data and compared with catalyst-free BODA polymerization.
Differential enthalpies were calculated according to Clausius-Clapeyron equation (Clegg, 1978) and tissue affinity for strongly bound water was expressed as average differential enthalpy for moisture content lower than 0.10 g [H.sub.2]O/g dry weight.
The second one, the fusion enthalpy was predicted through known or estimated values of vaporization and sublimation enthalpies which are already published.
So you can find woks that are related to the determination of excess enthalpy for organic compounds [2], determinations of partial molar enthalpy in the components of different alloys [3], excess molar enthalpies for binary systems of solvent-solute [4], among others.