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min egg a t Berkeley, California (near sea level) [RI.

BEAN, private communication]. Extrapolating this

egg from Lake Tahoe to Pike's Peak by means of the
iscnthalpic/iscntropic model, one calculates that a 10min egg a t sea level corresponds to an 85-min egg a t
14,000 ft.
It might also be relevant to note that hadboiling an
egg is not primarily a process of albumin denaturation,
for the rate-determining step is solidification of the yolk.
While the white of an egg contains a lot of albumin, the
yolk contains a lot of other stuff [XI. BEAN,ZOC.cit.].
Furthermore, chemical Binet,ics are of doubtful applicability to hard-boiled eggs. Since the yolk is usually near the center of the egg, its solidification rate is
mainly determined by the rate of heat transport through
the egg, which probably varies widely with egg size,
shell thickness, etc. Perhaps the fluffiness of omelets is
an egg parameter better suited to precise scientific investigation of the effects of altitude.

as long as the concentration of acid C A prevails,

nearly linear part of the curve with slope S near unity is
obtained. Though of no use for determining K, it is a
good control of the reliance of measured absorhances.
(In this region thc methods discussed by Ramette (J.
CHEM. EDUC.,44, 647, 1967) give unreliable values.
Because a small difference in ahsorptivities (E - EAR)is
multiplied by a relatively large factor CH+ experimental
errors become significant.)
Gradually the slope of the curve will become smaller
with increasing p H and finally tend towards zero. By
drawing a straight line through any set of two neighboring experimental points on the curve (not too far
from Christian's "50% point") one finds the slope S for
a distinct p H value where
S = dd pH

This pH value will he different from the unknown pK by

the distance 6 on the p H scale. Inserting pH = pK
6, and S from eqn. (3) into eqn. (2) we get

1 0 - i ~ K + 61
+~ O - P K


= 1 0 - i ~ K+6i

From this we derive

8 = log S - log ( 1

Graphical Method for Acidity Constants

and finally

To the Editor:
A recent paper by Christian (J. CHEH.EDUC.,45, 713,
1968) describes a rapid graphical method for determining complex formation constants. With minor differences, for instance using activities instead of concentrations, I have been applying an analogous procedure for
the determination of acidity constants of very weak
acids (pK, > 10) with good success.
There is one point worth mentioning. For the acid

pK = pH

- log S

- S)

+ log (1 + S )

Uncertainties in pK values obtained by this method are

roughly half the differencebetween the pH values of the
two experimental points chosen for reading the slope

AH = A - + H +

with the constant


A Mnemonic for Maxwell's Thermodynamic Relations


(let me use concentrations this time to conform to

Christian) my expression corresponding to Christian's
eqn. (4) is

where EAHand E A - are molar absorptivities of the

species AH and A-, respectively, and E is an apparent
abso~ptiuity,calculated from the measured absorbance
ex, the analytical concentration of acid CK+' and cell
length 1by ex = ECH+"1.
The logarithmic form of eqn. (1) may be written
lag AE = log K + log (Ea-- EAR)- log (CH+ K)
Calculating the derivative of log AE with respect to p H
will give

dlog AE dpH

By this procedure the unknown En-will he dropped and

there rests only pK to he determined. The plot of
values log AE, calculated from spectroscopic measurements, against pH will give a curve like that represented
as Figure 1 in Christian's paper. At smaller pH values,

To the Editor:
This letter proposes a method which will facilitate
the handling of the mathematical equalities among the
mixed partial-second-derivatives of the thermodynamic
potentials. These mathematical equalities are called
Rlaxwell's relations.
The thermodynamic potentials are considered to he
the internal energy U , the Helmholtz free energy F,
the Gihhs free energy G, and the enthalpy or heat
energy H. Each of these last three potentials is a
partial Legendre transformation of the function U , and
so all are closely related. Each of these potentials is a
function of 1 parameters and will give rise to l(1-1)
pairs of mixed second derivatives, or that many Maxwell relations, where 1 is any positive integer. As
examples of the Maxwell relations, consider the


Volume 46, Number 8, August 1969





Diffusion from Gels

To the Editov:
Recently J. C. Dennis [J. CHEM.EDUC.,45, 432
(1968)] proposed that the solution for the problem of
diffusion of electrolytes from a gel column, of height a
(0 < x < a ) , and initial concentration unity, to a wellstirred fluid a t x = 0 (zero initial concentration and
height a) is




Each of the eqns. (1) and (2) is one of Maxwell's

The Maxwell rclations may be seen to possess a
certain symmetry which suggests the following method
to remember them.
The convention used here is to treat S and T, V and
P, and N and p as pairs of conjugate variables. The
extensive parameters (X) are S, V , and N; the corresponding intensive parameters (I) are T, P, and p.

where p = (2n
1 ) r / 2 a , X = Dp2, D = diffusion
coefficient (I) f: D(x, C ) ) , and u ( x , t ) = concentration
in gel. However this solution appears to be in error.
The derivation presented by Dennis requires the
solution to the following differential equation

where ru (x, t ) = u (x, t ) - v(t),and v(t) is the concentration in the well-stirred fluid.
The expression given for w ( z , t ) is not a correct
solution to the differential eqn (2).
The correct solution for the concentration profilc
in the gel is

where p cot p

= -


Thc general solut,ion (dcrivntion of t,his and other

solutions t,o be published elsewhere) for the case of gcl
height a , and fluid height vr, and initial conccntratio~~s
Cl and Cz in the gel and well-stirrcd fluid respectively,
can be shown t,o be
I n the above relations, one may notice that
The conjugate variables, of the numerator and the denominator
on t,heleft, appear, respectively, a4 t,hedenominator and numerator on the right.
On d h e r side of the equation, the variable held constant is that
which is the eonj~gatevariable of the nwnerxtor. R represents
any other specified vaiahles, and is common on both sides.
The nnmbers in parentheses index t,hc eollpled extensive and
intensive variables.
The relations eqns. ( 4 ) and (;)) are basically the same.

With further reference to Maxwell's relations, choose

the upper sign if N or p does not appear as a differential;
choose the lower sign if N or p does appear a~ a differential; but if, in addition to the presence of N or p
as a differential, P or V appears as a differential,
choose the upper sign.
It is of interest to note that this formalism, with the
exception of the sign convention, may be extended to
include additional sets of variables. This set includes
the electro-magnetic extensive and intensive variables,
as well as the stress and strain variables.

536 / Journal of Chemical Education

u(z,t) =


+ a l m + C1


p cot p

= -


We wish to thank the U.S. Air Forcc Ctmbridge

Rescarch Laborat,ories for partial financial support of
this work.