Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Statistical Physics and ThermodynamicsAn Introduction to Key Concepts$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jochen Rau

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199595068

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199595068.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

Phase Transitions

Phase Transitions

(p.182) 8 Phase Transitions
Statistical Physics and Thermodynamics

Jochen Rau

Oxford University Press

At a phase transition two or more different phases may coexist, such as vapour and liquid. Phase transitions can be classified according to their order. A phase transition is of first order if going from one phase to the other involves a discontinuous change in entropy, and, thus, a finite amount of latent heat; higher-order phase transitions do not involve latent heat but exhibit other types of discontinuities. This chapter investigates the necessary conditions for the coexistence of phases, and how phases are represented in a phase diagram. The order of a phase transition is defined with the help of the Ehrenfest classification. The chapter discusses the Clausius–Clapeyron relation which, for a first-order phase transition, relates the discontinuous changes in entropy and volume. Finally, this chapter considers the Ising ferromagnet as a simple model which exhibits a second-order phase transition. It also introduces the notion of an order parameter.

Keywords:   phase transition, coexistence condition, phase diagram, Gibbs phase rule, Ehrenfest classification, latent heat, Clausius–Clapeyron relation, Ising ferromagnet, order parameter

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .