5 Difference Between Macroscopic Approach And Microscopic Approach

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In Macroscopic Approach also referred to as classical thermodynamics, a certain quantity of matter is considered without taking into account the events occurring at molecular level. It is more concerned with gross or average effects of many molecules’ infractions. These effects, such as pressure and temperature can be perceived by our senses and can be measured with instruments.

Microscopic approach also referred to as statistical thermodynamics considers that the system is made up of very large number of discrete particles referred to as molecules. These molecules have different velocities and energies. The values of these energies are constantly changing with time.

The Difference

  1. Macroscopic approach is concerned with gross or average effects of many molecules’ infractions whereas microscopic approach analyses the behavior of every molecule by using statistical methods.
  2. The analysis of macroscopic system requires elementary mathematics formulas whereas in microscopic approach, the behavior of the system is found by involving statistical methods because the number of molecules is large. Consequently, both complex mathematics and statistical methods are required to analyze the changes in the system.
  3. When describing a system Using macroscopic approach, only a few properties such as pressure, volume, temperature etc are required. This makes the approach simple. Whereas when describing a system using microscopic approach, large numbers of variables are needed and this makes the approach complex.
  4. In macroscopic approach, the values of properties of the system are their average values. For instance consider a sample of gas in a closed container. The pressure of the gas is the average value of the pressure exerted by millions of individual molecules. On the other hand, in microscopic approach the properties, like momentum, velocity, kinetic energy, impulse and instruments cannot measure force of impact that describe the molecule. These are real values and hence difficult to measure.
  5. In macroscopic approach, no assumptions are to be made regarding structure of matter whereas in microscopic approach, molecular theory of matter is assumed.

Also Read: What Is The Difference Between Macroscopic And Microscopic Forms Of Energy?

Macroscopic Approach Vs Microscopic Approach In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON MACROSCOPIC APPROCH MICROSCOPIC APPROACH  
Description In macroscopic Approach a certain quantity of matter is considered without taking into account the events occurring at molecular level. It is more concerned with gross or overall behavior. Microscopic approach considers that the system is made up of very large number of discrete particles referred to as molecules. These molecules have different velocities and energies. The values of these energies are constantly changing with time.
Also Referred To As Can also be referred to as classical thermodynamics. Can also be referred to as statistical thermodynamics.  
Analysis The analysis of macroscopic system requires elementary mathematics formulas.   The behavior of the system is found by involving statistical methods because the number of molecules is large. Consequently, both complex mathematics and statistical methods are required to analyze the changes in the system.  
Description Of System When describing a system Using macroscopic approach, only a few properties are required. This makes the approach simple.   When describing a system using microscopic approach, large numbers of variables are needed and this makes the approach complex.
Values It is an average value of activities happening at molecular level. These are real values and hence difficult to measure.
Assumptions No assumptions are to be made regarding structure of matter. Molecular theory of matter is assumed.