Interactive Self-Study Module: State Functions
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder 

This module uses screencasts and an interactive simulation to explain how a change in a state function is independent of the pathway taken. Any pathway can be used between the initial and final states to calculate the change regardless of how the process takes place. The module provides example problems and ConcepTests to allow the user to test themselves. We suggest using the learning resources in the following order:

  1. Attempt to answer the multiple-choice ConcepTests before watching the screencasts or working with the simulations.
  2. Watch the screencast that describes state functions and answer the questions within the screencast.
  3. Use the interactive simulation to further understand how state functions are used to in real-life processes.
  4. Try to solve the two example problems before watching the solutions in the screencasts.
  5. Answer the ConcepTests.

State functions is one of the most useful concepts in thermodynamics.

This module is intended for thermodynamics, physical chemistry, and materials and energy balances courses.

Before studying this module, you should:

After studying this module, you should be able to:
  1. Use state functions to solve energy balances.
  2. Use the concept of state functions to calculate changes in state parameters.