A convenient practical model for accurately estimating the total entropy (ΣSi
) of atmospheric gases based on physical action is proposed. This realistic approach is fully consistent with statistical mechanics, but reinterprets its partition functions as measures of translational, rotational, and vibrational action or quantum states, to estimate the entropy. With all kinds of molecular action expressed as logarithmic functions, the total heat required for warming a chemical system from 0 K (ΣSiT
) to a given temperature and pressure can be computed, yielding results identical with published experimental third law values of entropy. All thermodynamic properties of gases including entropy, enthalpy, Gibbs energy, and Helmholtz energy are directly estimated using simple algorithms based on simple molecular and physical properties, without resource to tables of standard values; both free energies are measures of quantum field states and of minimal statistical degeneracy, decreasing with temperature and declining density. We propose that this more realistic approach has heuristic value for thermodynamic computation of atmospheric profiles, based on steady state heat flows equilibrating with gravity. Potentially, this application of an action principle can provide better understanding of emergent properties of many natural or evolving complex systems, including modelling of predictions for global warming.
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