Macroscopic Vs Microscopic Viewpoint of Thermodynamics

Macroscopic and Microscopic views are used to study the behavior of the matter. Suppose the matter is investigated about its behavior based on a certain amount or volume without consideration of its properties at the molecular level. In that case, it is known as macroscopic thermodynamics. If the matter is studied at its molecular level for its properties, it is known as microscopic thermodynamics.

Both macroscopic and microscopic thermodynamics are discussed in the following sections in detail.

Macroscopic (Classical Thermodynamics)

  • In the macroscopic approach, a particular quantity or volume of the matter is considered without considering the events occurring at the molecular level.
  • This approach to the study of thermodynamic properties does not require knowledge of the behavior of individual particles.
  • It is only concerned with the effects of many combined molecules and how human senses can perceive these effects.
  • The macroscopic observations are utterly independent of the assumptions regarding the nature of matter.

Microscopic (Statistical Thermodynamics)

  • From the microscopic viewpoint, it is assumed that matter is composed of many small molecules and atoms.
  • This approach to the study of thermodynamics requires knowledge of the behavior of individual particles.
  • It is concerned with the effects of the action of many molecules and human senses cannot perceive these effects.
  • The microscopic observations are utterly dependent on the assumptions regarding the nature of matter.
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