Macroscopic and Microscopic Approach in Thermodynamics

The thermodynamics can be studied by two main approaches, namely:



  1. Macroscopic Approach
  2. Microscopic Approach
We will discuss each approaches separately
Also Read: What is Thermodynamics?

Macroscopic Approach

In a macroscopic approach, the study is carried out in a general way. This studies the general behavior of a system. A system that is studied by this method is defined based on the parameters like temperature, pressure. These are parameters that are a representation of every molecule in the system.


A macroscopic approach is performed very easily with a limited number of variables. This approach is also called as classical thermodynamics.

Microscopic Approach

In the microscopic approach, the system is studied by analyzing the behavior of every molecule present in the system. In this case, we take into account the fact that every molecule in a system has different energy and varied excitement level.

Hence, the behavior of a system studied by the microscopic approach is determined by statistical analysis. As statistics are used to find the solution, the approach is very difficult and time taking.

These are measured by individual behavior variables like momentum, velocity etc which is a tough process. This method is also called as statistical thermodynamics.

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