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Ballad of 5.60

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Ballad of 5.60

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Ballad of 5.60

Free energy and entropy were whirling in his brain
With partial differentials and greek letters in their train
With delta, sigma, gamma, theta, epsilon, and pi
Were driving him distracted as they danced before his eye.

cho: Glory, glory, dear old thermo
     Glory, glory, dear old thermo
     Glory, glory, dear old thermo,
     We'll pass you by and by.

Heat content and fugacity revolved within his brain
Like molecules and atoms that you never have to name.
And logarithmic functions doing cakewalks in his dreams,
And partial molal quantities devouring chocolate creams.


They asked him on his final if a mole of any gas
In a vessel with a membrane through which Hydrogen could pass
Were compressed to half its volume what the entropy would be
If two-thirds delta-sigma equaled half of delta-P.

He said he guessed the entropy would have to equal four
Unless the second law would bring it up a couple more.
But then, it might be seven if the Carnot law applied,
Or it might be almost zero if the delta-T should slide.

The professor read his paper with a corrugated brow
For he knew he'd have to grade it and he didn't know quite how.
'Til an inspiration in his cerebellum suddenly smote,
And he seized his trusty fountain pen and this is what he wrote:

Just as you guessed the entropy I'll have to guess your grade,
But the second law won't raise it to the mark you might have made.
For it might have been 100 if your guesses all were good,
But I think it must be zero 'til they're rightly understood.

final chorus:

     Glory, glory, dear old thermo
     Glory, glory, dear old thermo
     Glory, glory, dear old thermo
     We'll try again next term.

(Tune: Battle Hymn of the Republic)
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