The direction and extent to which a chemical reaction proceeds is determined by the degree to which two factors change during the reaction. These are enthalpy (ΔH, a measure of the change in heat con- tent of the reactants and products) and entropy (ΔS, a measure of the change in randomness or disorder of reactants and products, Figure 6.1). Neither of these thermodynamic quantities by itself is sufficient to determine whether a chemical reaction will proceed spontaneously in the direction it is written. However, when combined mathematically (see Figure 6.1), enthalpy and entropy can be used to define a third quantity, free energy (G), which predicts the direction in which a reaction will spontaneously proceed.
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- (no access) - Lippincott's Biochemistry.pdf, p77
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