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Entropy 2011, 13(8), 1533-1540; doi:10.3390/e13081533
Commentary

Distinguishability in Entropy Calculations: Chemical Reactions, Conformational and Residual Entropy

Departamento de Química Física y Analítica, Universidad de Oviedo, Julián Clavería 8, 33006, Oviedo, Spain
Received: 15 June 2011 / Revised: 2 August 2011 / Accepted: 20 August 2011 / Published: 23 August 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Residual and Ground State Entropy)
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Abstract

By analyzing different examples of practical entropy calculations and using concepts such as conformational and residual entropies, I show herein that experimental calorimetric entropies of single molecules can be theoretically reproduced considering chemically identical atoms either as distinguishable or indistinguishable particles. The broadly used correction in entropy calculations due to the symmetry number and particle indistinguishability is not mandatory, as an ad hoc correction, to obtain accurate values of absolute and relative entropies. It is shown that, for any chemical reaction of any kind, considering distinguishability or indistinguishability among identical atoms is irrelevant as long as we act consistently in the calculation of all the required entropy contributions.
Keywords: particle distinguishability; chemical reactions; conformational entropy; residual entropy; Gibbs paradox particle distinguishability; chemical reactions; conformational entropy; residual entropy; Gibbs paradox
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Suárez, E. Distinguishability in Entropy Calculations: Chemical Reactions, Conformational and Residual Entropy. Entropy 2011, 13, 1533-1540.

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