PHYS 317 - Reading Assignment #21

  1. Why was the P dV_R term dropped from the expression for dS_R?

    Because it made a negligible contribution for typical pressures and volume changes. Sometimes it's dropped because the volume is strictly held fixed.

  2. Consider the deadly combination of equal parts oxygen and carbon monoxide. Why do the heme sites fill with carbon monoxide in this case?

    At equal concentration they have roughly equal chemical potentials. But carbon monoxide has a slightly lower (stronger) binding energy to the heme site. This small energy difference, when put into the Gibbs factor, makes a large difference in the relative probabilities of binding CO versus O2.

  3. Describe the Pauli exclusion principle.

    No more than one fermion can occupy a single quantum state.

  4. What examples does Schroeder give of systems that violate condition 7.17?

    Very dense systems, like neutron stars. Very cold systems like liquid helium. Or very light particles like electrons in a metal or photons in an oven.
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