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We could study many reactions in a similar manner to see if this pattern holds up. We find experimentally that it does. The pattern is therefore a new natural law called Hess’ Law. Stated generally (but wordily), the energy of a reaction is equal to the sum of the energies of any set of reactions which, when carried out in total, lead from the same reactants to the same products. This is a powerful observation! (It is important to note here that we have omitted something from our observations. Hess’ Law requires that all reactions considered proceed under similar conditions like temperature and pressure: we will consider all reactions to occur at constant pressure.)

Why would Hess’ Law be true? Why doesn’t it matter to the energy whether we carry out a reaction in a single step or in a great many steps which produce the same products? We might have guessed that more steps somehow require more energy or somehow waste more energy. But if so, our guess would be wrong. As such, it would be helpful to develop a model to account for this law to improve our intuition about reaction energies.

[link] gives us a way we can make progress based on the work we have already done. This is a just a picture of Hess' Law showing all of [link] , [link] , and [link] . (Remember that the total reaction in [link] is exactly the same as the original reaction in [link] .) In [link] , the reactants C(s) + 2 H2O (g) + O 2 (g) are placed together in a box, representing the reactant state of the matter before [link] occurs. The products CO2(g) + 2H2(g) + O 2 (g) are placed together in a second box representing the product state of the matter after [link] . The reaction arrow connecting these boxes is labeled with the heat of [link] (which is also the heat of [link] ), since that is the energy absorbed when the matter is transformed chemically from reactants to products in a single step.

Also in [link] , we have added a box in which we place the same matter as in the reactant box but showing instead the products of carrying out [link] . In other words, we will first do [link] , producing CO 2 (g) but leaving the H 2 O(g) unchanged. Notice that the reaction arrow is labeled with the energy of [link] . Now we can also add a reaction arrow to connect this box to the product box, because that reaction is just [link] , producing H 2 (g) and O 2 (g) from the H 2 O(g). And we can label this reaction arrow with the energy of [link] .

This picture of Hess' Law makes it clear that the energy of the reaction along the "path" directly connecting the reactant state to the product state is exactly equal to the total energy of the same reaction along the alternative "path" consisting of two steps which connect reactants to products. (This statement is again subject to our restriction that all reactions in the alternative path must occur under the same conditions, e.g. constant pressure conditions.)

Now let’s take a slightly different view of [link] . Visually make a loop by beginning at the reactant box and following a complete circuit through the other boxes leading back to the reactant box, summing the total energy of reaction as you go. If you go “backwards” against a reaction arrow, then reverse the sign of the energy, since a reverse reaction has the negative energy of the forward reaction. When we complete a loop and do the sum, we discover that the net energy transferred around the loop starting with reactants and ending with reactants is exactly zero. This makes a lot of sense when we remember the Law of Conservation of Energy: surely we cannot extract any energy from the reactants by a process which simply recreates the reactants. If this were not the case, in other words if the sum didn’t equal zero, we could endlessly produce unlimited quantities of energy by following the circuit of reactions which continually reproduce the initial reactants. Experimentally, this never works since energy is conserved.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
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Source:  OpenStax, Concept development studies in chemistry 2013. OpenStax CNX. Oct 07, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11579/1.1
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