Problem: You lose 9 pounds over a 26-day period. Which of the following quantities act like a state function: the number of calories you consume, your weight, or the number of calories burned through exercise?

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We have to determine which of the given quantities act like state functions when a person loses 9 pounds over a 26-day period.


The given quantities are:

1. The number of calories consumed

2. The weight

3. The number of calories burned through exercise


To solve this problem, we need to be first aware of what state functions and path functions are.

State functions are those properties whose value does not depend upon the path taken to reach that value.

The value of a state function depends only upon the initial and final state of a system.

A mnemonic to remember state functions is: PVT HUGS

These represent pressure (P), volume (V), temperature (T), enthalpy (H), internal energy (U), Gibbs free energy (G) and entropy (S).

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Problem Details

You lose 9 pounds over a 26-day period. Which of the following quantities act like a state function: the number of calories you consume, your weight, or the number of calories burned through exercise?

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Internal Energy concept. You can view video lessons to learn Internal Energy. Or if you need more Internal Energy practice, you can also practice Internal Energy practice problems.

What professor is this problem relevant for?

Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Alghoul's class at GSU.