Difference Between Enthalpy and Entropy

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Enthalpy and Entropy

Why read @ Diffzy

Our articles are well-researched

We make unbiased comparisons

Our content is free to access

We are a one-stop platform for finding differences and comparisons

We compare similar terms in both tabular forms as well as in points


In thermodynamics, the link between heat and work is established via scientific investigation. Concerning heat and energy, there are a variety of words and regulations that must be considered. The words enthalpy and entropy are two of the most often used in thermodynamics. The rules of thermodynamics that are connected must be understood to comprehend their interaction with one another. In this section, we will look at the most significant differences between Enthalpy and Entropy in a methodical manner. In layman's words, enthalpy may be thought of as the entire amount of heat present, while entropy can be thought of as the degree of disorder existing.

Enthalpy and entropy are two fundamental ideas in thermodynamics that no one should be able to overlook while studying the subject. Having a clear understanding of the difference between the concepts of enthalpy and entropy not only helps us pass our scientific exams, but also allows us to offer a reasonable explanation for many phenomena that we see in our everyday lives. Every phenomenon, from shifting phases to energy transfer in a single state, maybe explained using thermodynamic principles.

Enthalpy vs Entropy

The main difference between enthalpy and entropy is that enthalpy is a measurement of a system's total energy, which is equal to the sum of internal energy plus the product of pressure and volume. Entropy, on the other hand, is the amount of thermal energy in a system that cannot be converted into work.

A thermodynamic system's enthalpy is defined as a state function determined under constant pressure (large open atmosphere). Because it is the sum of a system's internal energy and the product of pressure and change in volume, the unit of enthalpy is the same as energy, i.e. J in the SI unit. A system's entire enthalpy cannot be measured directly. As a result, we calculate the change in enthalpy of a system.

Enthalpy (H) is an energy-like state function attribute of a thermodynamic system that is equal to total internal energy (U) and pressure-volume (PV) work, while entropy is a system's innate disorders under particular circumstances. The change in enthalpy and entropy, rather than their absolute levels, may be assessed in thermodynamics.

Entropy is the measure of unpredictability or chaos in a system in basic terms. It is a broad attribute, meaning that the value of entropy varies with the quantity of matter present in the system. A system with low entropy is highly organized (less chaotic), and vice versa. JK1 is the SI unit of entropy.

Similarly, when the unpredictability of molecules decreases, so does the rise in entropy. As a result, the entropy of solids is lower than that of gases. This is because gases include more random molecules than solids. The total entropy of the system and its surroundings will constantly rise. As a result, the universe's entropy is continually increasing.

Difference Between Enthalpy and Entropy in Tabular form

Parameters of Comparison Enthalpy Entropy
Definition When it comes to thermodynamic systems, enthalpy is the sum of internal energy plus the product of pressure and volume. Entropy is defined as the amount of thermal energy in a system that is not capable of being converted into mechanical or productive work by the system.
Measurement We calculate the change in enthalpy because the total enthalpy of a system cannot be measured directly. System entropy is defined as the degree of disorder or chaos existing in a thermodynamic system and is measured in units of entropy.
Unit Considering that the SI unit of enthalpy and energy are interchangeable, enthalpy can be measured in Joules (J). In the SI system, the unit of entropy for a unit of mass is JK1kg1, while the unit of entropy for a unit quantity of material is JK1mol1.
Symbol When it comes to enthalpy, the letter H stands for "heat." Entropy is symbolized by the letter S.
History The term "enthalpy" was coined by a scientist named Heike Kamerlingh Onnes. Rudolf Clausius, a German scientist, is credited with coining the word "entropy."
Favoring Conditions The minimum enthalpy is always preferred by a thermodynamic system in all circumstances. The largest amount of entropy is always preferred by a thermodynamic system.

What is Enthalpy?

Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, a Dutch scientist who worked on the subject of thermodynamics, created the term "enthalpy" in 1909. Heike Kamerlingh Onnes was a scientist who worked in the field of thermodynamics. It is short for "total heat content," which is what the word enthalpy refers to. To determine how much heat is delivered to or removed from a system, we must first determine its enthalpy. It is a crucial figure since most reactions take place under constant pressure, and it is used to calculate the amount of heat generated by a reaction when it takes place under constant pressure.

Because energy does not exist, it cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed into a limited number of interchangeable forms that are compatible with one another in their functionality. For example, tides may be harnessed to convert Tidal Energy into Electrical Energy, which can then be utilized in wind turbines to generate electricity. To convert Mechanical Energy into Electric Energy, we crank a turbine, which is identical to the previous example. Moreover, when electrical energy is used to create light or heat energy via the use of a light bulb or an appliance, it is altered even further.

The term Enthalpy, on the other hand, refers to the quantity of energy that changes throughout the process of conversion and is used to quantify this change. To finish a full study of the topic, students must be able to grasp the definition and derivation of enthalpy and its applications. To simplify and make the topic more comprehensible, we have included a brief explanation, relevant illustrations and examples, and Mathematical equations to make it easier and more understandable.

The enthalpy of a system is a measure of the heat content of a system, and it may be calculated. In the majority of systems, heat may either enter or depart the system, which is a well-known fact. As a consequence, the term "enthalpy change" refers to the change in heat that occurs during a chemical reaction. To comprehend a chemical reaction and how it operates, it is critical to know whether the system's internal energy rises or decreases as it proceeds through its course. When considering the change in the enthalpy of a system, it is also feasible to consider the total of all changes in the system's internal energy, as well as changes in the product of the pressure and the volume of the system, throughout a chemical reaction.

What is Entropy?

The physicist Rudolf Clausius used the word "entropy" in 1850 to describe the amount of information that has been lost. This notion is derived from the premise that heat always flows from hot to cold areas spontaneously, and that this flow is equivalent to the change in entropy. As a result of the fact that certain dissipations must occur for energy to be transformed into work, the idea of entropy is developed. Entropy is the term used to describe this wasted energy.

Entropy is an essential feature of matter and its components (atoms and molecules), and it has a wide range of definitions and meanings in different fields. Rudolf Clausius proposed it for the first time in the year 1850, and it has since played an essential part in the study of thermodynamics as well as in the development of formulae to determine the stability of atomic systems and chemical processes.

This strange phenomenon was discovered in the nineteenth century as a result of extensive scientific investigation into heat and energy. It serves as a fundamental principle of thermodynamics, and it has also influenced the development of other mathematical ideas and formulae that are connected to the concept of probability.

Furthermore, the concept of entropy informs us about the feasibility of different chemical processes as well as the explanation for their reversible and irreversible characteristics.

Any form of media, whether solid or fluid, is always made up of molecules of some sort. Entropy is a term used to describe the measurement of the unpredictability of molecules in a system. As a result, if the unpredictability of molecules is greater, the entropy of the process will grow proportionally. The proportion of heat that can be transformed into work will thus be reduced as a consequence of this. Consequently, we may argue that entropy is a function of the amount of heat present.

A similar argument may be made that if the unpredictability of molecules is reduced, the growth in entropy will be reduced. Solids have lower entropy values than gases, as a result of this property of matter. This is since gases include a greater number of random molecules than solids. The entropy of the system and its surroundings will constantly rise as the system evolves. As a result, the entropy of the cosmos is constantly increasing.

Main Differences Between Enthalpy and Entropy In Points

  • The enthalpy of a thermodynamic system is the sum of internal energy and the product of pressure and volume in the system. Entropy, on the other hand, is the amount of thermal energy in a system that is not capable of being converted into mechanical or productive work by the system.
  • Enthalpy measurement refers to the measurement of changes in the enthalpy of a system, while entropy measurement refers to the degree of disorder or chaos in a system, respectively.
  • Similar to the SI unit of energy, the SI unit of enthalpy is the same as the SI unit of energy and may be measured in J. In contrast, the SI unit of entropy per unit mass is JK1kg1, and the SI units for entropy per unit quantity of material are JK1mol1.
  • Enthalpy is represented by the letter H, while entropy is represented by the letter S.
  • Heike Kamerlingh Onnes was the first to use the word "enthalpy," but Rudolf Clausius was the first to use the term "entropy."
  • In a thermodynamic system, the lowest possible enthalpy is desired, while the highest possible entropy is favored in the same system.
  • Systems want the lowest possible enthalpy, while Systems prefer the highest possible entropy.
  • Enthalpy is negative in exothermic processes, but Entropy is negative in non-spontaneous processes, as the name implies.


Understanding the distinction between enthalpy and entropy is very crucial when trying to reason about various natural processes. The fundamental ideas of enthalpy and entropy are employed in a variety of situations, ranging from the melting of ice to the solution of complicated thermodynamics issues.

However, since enthalpy cannot be determined directly, we must calculate it as a function of time between two phases. Entropy, on the other hand, is defined as the degree to which a system is subjected to unpredictability. When a system obtains energy, the disorder grows and the entropy reduces, and the converse is true when the system loses energy.

An enthalpy is a unit of measurement for the amount of energy present in a thermodynamic system. Because the total enthalpy of a system cannot be measured directly, it is necessary to estimate it. As a result, scientists constantly measure the change in the enthalpy of the system under consideration.

According to the second rule of thermodynamics, no reaction is perfectly efficient, and as a result, heat is always transferred from warmer to colder things when a reaction occurs. This rule is sometimes referred to as the law of disorder since it defines the idea of entropy, which is defined by it. The energy available in the system is intrinsically active, and it will work spontaneously to reduce or eliminate the effects of the thermodynamic forces on the system's energy. As a result, when there is more energy present in a system, there is greater chaos. When material changes its state from a solid to a liquid to a gas, the molecules in the substance have greater freedom to move with each successive stage.


  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/j100362a018
  2. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2014/md/c4md00057a


Cite this article

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:



MLA Style Citation

"Difference Between Enthalpy and Entropy." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 10 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-enthalpy-and-entropy-359>.

Edited by

Share this article