Keywords: symbolic calculation, Gibbs free energy, thermodynamics, phase equilibrium, spinodal, metastability curve, binodal, coexistence curve, phase diagrams, engineering education
Generating thermodynamics phase diagrams using symbolic packages
The purpose of this paper is to use symbolic mathematical programs to help students studying phase equilibrium thermodynamics with the concept of phase diagrams. Given Gibbs free energy of a thermodynamic system, we illustrate the development of programs written in a known symbolic package (Mathematica) to solve and plot the system's phase diagram showing the spinodal (metastability curve) and binodal (coexistence curve). The program is written in a fashion that enables the students to provide the expression of free energy symbolically and to experiment with different scenarios.