Standard state

From Sciencemadness Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

In chemistry, the standard state of a material (pure substance, mixture or solution) is a reference point used to calculate its properties under different conditions.


Although the choice of standard state is arbitrary from a physics point of view, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) recommends a conventional set of standard states for general use. IUPAC recommends using a standard pressure po = 105 Pa.

Strictly speaking, temperature is not part of the definition of a standard state. For example, as discussed below, the standard state of a gas is conventionally chosen to be unit pressure (usually in bar) ideal gas, regardless of the temperature. However, most tables of thermodynamic quantities are compiled at specific temperatures, most commonly 293.15 K (20 °C; 68 °F), 298.15 K (25 °C; 77 °F) or, somewhat less commonly, 273.15 K (0 °C; 32 °F).[1]

The standard state should not be confused with standard temperature and pressure (STP) for gases, nor with the standard solutions used in analytical chemistry.


  1. UPAC, Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book") (1997). Online corrected version: (2006–)

Relevant Sciencemadness threads