# What is the Difference Between Macroscopic and Microscopic in Thermodynamics

The key difference between macroscopic and microscopic in thermodynamics is that macroscopic thermodynamics refers to the relationships between large scale bulk properties of a system, whereas microscopic thermodynamics refers to the relationships between small scale properties of a system.

In this article, we are describing two forms of thermodynamics according to the properties of the system that are considered in the observation. They are microscopic and macroscopic thermodynamics.

### CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Thermodynamics
3. What is Macroscopic Thermodynamics
4. What is Microscopic Thermodynamics
5. Macroscopic vs Microscopic in Thermodynamics in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Macroscopic vs Microscopic in Thermodynamics

## What is Thermodynamics?

Thermodynamics is the branch of physical science that deals with the relations between heat and other forms of energy such as mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy. It explains the relationship between all energy forms. The main idea of thermodynamics is the association of heat with work done by or on a system. There are several important terms in thermodynamics.

The most commonly described terms in thermodynamics include:

Enthalpy – refers to the total energy content of a thermodynamic system

Entropy – refers to a thermodynamic expression explaining the inability of a thermodynamic system to convert its thermal energy into mechanical energy

A thermodynamic state – describes the state of a system at a given temperature

Thermodynamic equilibrium – the state of a thermodynamic system being in equilibrium with one or more other thermodynamic systems

Work – refers to the amount of energy that is transferred to the surrounding from a thermodynamic system.

## What is Macroscopic Thermodynamics?

Macroscopic thermodynamics refers to the relationships between the large-scale bulk properties of a system. The typically considered bulk properties include volume, elastic moduli, temperature, pressure, and specific heat. These are parameters that are easily measurable. Therefore, the macroscopic thermodynamics approach concerns the gross or average effects of many molecules’ infractions as a bulk.

## What is Microscopic Thermodynamics?

Microscopic thermodynamics refers to the relationships between the small-scale properties of a system. This phenomenon includes the behavior of every molecule by using statistical methods. The properties considered in the microscopic thermodynamics include the properties of atoms that are on a very small scale; for example, intermolecular forces, chemical bonding, atomicity, etc.

## What is the Difference Between Macroscopic and Microscopic in Thermodynamics?

Thermodynamics is the branch of physical science that deals with the relations between heat and other forms of energy such as mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy. There are two forms of thermodynamics according to the properties of the system that are considered in the observation. They are microscopic and macroscopic thermodynamics. The key difference between macroscopic and microscopic in thermodynamics is that macroscopic thermodynamics refers to the relationships between large scale bulk properties of a system, whereas microscopic thermodynamics refers to the relationships between small scale properties of a system.

Moreover, macroscopic thermodynamics include volume, elastic moduli, temperature, pressure, and specific heat, whereas microscopic thermodynamics include properties of atoms such as intermolecular forces, chemical bonding, atomicity, etc.

The following image summarizes the difference between macroscopic and microscopic in thermodynamics, in tabular form.

## Summary – Macroscopic vs Microscopic in Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics is the branch of physical science that deals with the relations between heat and other forms of energy such as mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy. There are two forms of thermodynamics according to the properties of the system that are considered in the observation: microscopic and macroscopic thermodynamics. The key difference between macroscopic and microscopic in thermodynamics is that macroscopic thermodynamics refers to the relationships between large scale bulk properties of a system, whereas microscopic thermodynamics refers to the relationships between small scale properties of a system.