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Abstract

Criteria are derived to specify the limit of stability for pure material and multicomponent thermodynamic systems. Through the use of Legendre transforms, the criteria may be expressed in a very simple form that only involves the determination of positiveness of a single second-order partial derivative of a potential function. Alternate and equivalent criteria are shown to result from a simple reordering of the independent variables in the Fundamental Equation of Gibbs. Certain criteria that are often stated as necessary conditions of stability (for example, Cv > 0) are shown to be insufficient for specifying the limit of stability; that is, a system will always become unstable for other reasons before Cb can attain a negative value.