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Microscopic Vs Macroscopic System

There are two points of view from which the behaviour of matter can be studied: the macroscopic and the microscopic. In the macroscopic approach, a certain quantity of matter is considered, without the events occurring at the molecular level being taken into account. From the microscopic point of view, matter is composed of myriads of molecules.

If it is a gas, each molecule at a given instant has a certain position, velocity, and energy, and for each molecule these change very frequently as a result of collisions. The behaviour of the gas is described by summing up the behaviour of each molecule. Such a study is made in microscopic or statistical thermodynamics.

Macroscopic thermodynamics is only concerned with the effects of the action of many molecules, and these effects can be perceived by human senses. For example, the macroscopic quantity, pressure, is the average rate of change of momentum due to all the molecular collisions made on a unit area.

The effects of pressure can be felt. The macroscopic point of view is not concerned with the action of individual molecules, and the force on a given unit area can be measured by using, e.g., a pressure gauge. These macroscopic observations are completely independent of the assumptions regarding the nature of matter. All the results of classical or macroscopic thermodynamics can, however, be derived from the microscopic and statistical study of matter.

Source: P.K. Nag https://books.google.co.in/books?id=91MZ2ZOb3n8C

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