The two fundamental principles of thermodynamics are as follows:

- The first law of thermodynamics represented by the energy equation
*dQ = dU + dW*(10.1) - The second law of thermodynamics represented by the equation of Clausius
*dQ = TdS*(10.2)

In these equations, the quantities *U*, *W* and *S* are functions of the thermodynamic co-ordinates *p*, *v* and T of which only two are independent variables. From these equations, other useful relations between the four co-ordinates *p*, *v*, *T* and *S* can be obtained. Out of these four co-ordinates, only two can vary independently. Hence, any two of these co-ordinates only can be expressed in terms of the remaining two co-ordinates. The equations thus obtained are called Maxwell's ...

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