When I first encountered the works of J.W. Gibbs, I felt like a small boy who had found a book describing the facts of life.
T. von Karmann
When people refer to “classical thermodynamics” with no context or qualifiers, they are generally referring to a subtopic of physical chemistry which deals with the mathematical transformations of energy and entropy in fluids. These transformations are subject to several constraints owing to the nature of state functions. This field was developed largely through the efforts of J.W. Gibbs during the late 1800’s (Gibbs was granted the first engineering Ph.D. in the United States in 1863). Our study focuses on three aspects of the field: