Shakespeare and the Compromise between Enthalpy and Entropy

Explanation: The goal here is to modify a recognizable speech to describe a fundamental result of thermodynamics---a thermodynamic system under `normal' experimental conditions (in equilibrium with a fixed pressure such as that exerted by the atmosphere and in equilibrium with a fixed temperature such as that of the laboratory or furnace) will approach its equilibrium state by minimizing the Gibbs free energy, G = H - T S, where H is the system's enthalpy or a measure of stored heat, T is the fixed temperature, and S is the system's entropy. Thus, nature tends to pick states that minimize H at low temperatures and maximize S at high temperatures.

To freeze or not to freeze: That is the question:
Whether 'tis fav'rable to gain entropy
with such jostlings of outrageous portion
Or to bond, free'ng seas of enthalpy
And thus subside S? P and T: thus G
No more; and by reducing say we end
Activations of thousand nat'ral shocks
that bonds do suffer. 'Tis min'mization
Devoutly pursu-ed. To freeze, to melt;
To melt: perchance to flow; ay, there's the rub
which warms shackles that tie so rigidly;
by such warmth to be dislodged, even boil.

W. Craig Carter (2006)

But, soft! What enthalpy is minimized?
It is the heat, heat is given by the sun.
Arise, fair Gibbs, and ensure no extra heat,
Exists in a law abiding system,
And maximize that entropy as well.
Be not afraid to do your duty, Gibbs.
Without you systems would be but sick and green,
And none but fools could bear it; cast it off.
It is my energy, it is my love!
What a system exists!
As many states as can be: what of that?
Building macrostates from the microstates.
How did it not occur to us sooner:
By probability, one state doth rule.
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Are not more beautiful than this concept,
Which governs over all of humankind.
What if we were without this magic truth?
The brightness of the world would fizzle out,
As doth a lamp when the oil doth run outeth,
Or a lake gone dry---evaporation.
The hummingbirds should sing thy praises, Gibbs
For giving us our universal law.
O, that both H and S were maximized!

Talia Gershon (2006)

Minimize, and minimize, and minimize,
Gibbs free energy does every day,
Until an equilibrium condition is met;
And all our entropy has maximized
The way to high temperatures. Down, down, brief enthalpy!
Life's but at low temperatures; a poor student,
That always minimizes Gibbs free energy
And then is spoken no more: it is a college tale
Told by many idiot professors, full of knowledge and hope,
Signifying nothing.

Emily Gullotti (2006)

We few, we happy few, we band of atoms;
For he to-day that minimizes his free energy
Shall be my phase; be he solid or liquid,
This day shall minimize his enthalpy:
And phases in disequilibrium
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their entropies not maximized whiles any speaks
That minimized their Gibbs Free Energy.

Victor Brunini (2006)

Solids, Liquids, Gases, lend me your heat;
I come to bury Willard, not to raise him.
A mess of atoms lives after him;
The heat is oft stored with their bonds;
So let it be with Gibbs. The noble Carter
Hath told you that Gibbs was minimized:
If it were so, it's at stability,
And at stability hath Gibbs done it.
Here, under leave of Carter and the rest -
For Carter is a knowledgeable man;
So are they all, all knowledgeable men -
Come I to speak in Gibbs' funeral.
He was heat's friend, generous at low T:
But Carter says he was minimized;
And Carter is a knowledgeable man.
But entropy hath brought many systems
To parity whose energies were less:
Is this how Willard was minimized?
When temperature rose, Gibbs hath died.
"Minimized" should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Carter says he was minimized;
And Carter is a knowledgeable man.
We all did see that in the lecture hall
He thrice showed Gibbs in differential form,
Which we did thrice confuse: was this "minimized"?
Yet Carter says he was minimized;
And, sure, he is a knowledgeable man.
I speak not to refute what Carter spoke,
But here I do speak so that all may know.
we all did love Gibbs once, not without cause:
What cause witholds us then, to exalt him?
O grade point! thou art fled to fours and threes,
but 3.046 hath taught us much. Such as these:
Gibbs is naught for systems in parity,
And equals enthalpy less S and T.

Juliãn Villarreal (2006)

Students, Scholars, researchers, lend me your ears;
I come to lecture to you, not to dictate.
The study that men do lives after them;
The rest is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with J. Gibbs. The noble Carter
Hath told you J. Gibbs was a clever guy;
For he has taught bout Gibbs free energy,
And obviously doth its value increase
Here, with an increase in enthalpy too
(For Carter is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men)
Come I to speak of entropys impact
Boltzmanns brainchild, beautiful and complex,
Has an effect thats different;
Much more complex than that of enthalpys
Its effect is inverse, in other words,
Its increase will decrease free energy;
Does this, in reason, seem unlikely?

Further complicated is this relation:
By the effect of temperature. You see:
Entropys effect is greater when;
A systems temperature is greater too.
This gives an expression for delta G
Thats delta H minus T delta S,
And I hear you exclaim: Is this not genius?!
And Carter says Gibbs was ambitious;
And, sure, he's an honourable man.

I speak not to disprove what J Gibbs wrote,
Ney, here I am to teach what I do love.
We still admire Gibbs, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then to study his work?
O judgement! thou art fled to distant lands,
And men have lost their reason...Dont doubt it;
If they choose to ignore this relation,
And so I must pause till sense returns to all.

Carol Newby (2006)
(see also, Carol Newby's
spontaneous contribution
of a verse to the MIT song)

Order and enthalpy have such seething ways,
Phase altering fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool weather ever comprehends.
The enthalpy, the order, and the clime,
Are of Gibbs free energy all compact:
One sees more heat than system can hold-
That is the enthalpy: the order, all as frantic,
Wants more randomness in a higher clime.
The function then, equilibrium reaching,
Doth turn from water to ice, or ice to water;
And, as equilibrium bodies forth
The forms of vapors unknown, such processes
Turn them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local finite volume and a shape.
Such tricks hath strong enthalpy,
That, if it would but minimize free energy,
By, in the cold, increasing enthalpy,
How easy is water transform'd to ice.

Cait Morgan (2006)