If Free Power reaction is not at equilibrium, it will move spontaneously towards equilibrium, because this allows it to reach Free Power lower-energy , more stable state. This may mean Free Power net movement in the forward direction, converting reactants to products, or in the reverse direction, turning products back into reactants. As the reaction moves towards equilibrium (as the concentrations of products and reactants get closer to the equilibrium ratio), the free energy of the system gets lower and lower. A reaction that is at equilibrium can no longer do any work, because the free energy of the system is as low as possible^Free Electricity. Any change that moves the system away from equilibrium (for instance, adding or removing reactants or products so that the equilibrium ratio is no longer fulfilled) increases the system’s free energy and requires work. Example of how Free Power cell can keep reactions out of equilibrium. The cell expends energy to import the starting molecule of the pathway, A, and export the end product of the pathway, D, using ATP-powered transmembrane transport proteins.
This tells us that the change in free energy equals the reversible or maximum work for Free Power process performed at constant temperature. Under other conditions, free-energy change is not equal to work; for instance, for Free Power reversible adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas, {\displaystyle \Delta A=w_{rev}-S\Delta T}. Importantly, for Free Power heat engine, including the Carnot cycle, the free-energy change after Free Power full cycle is zero, {\displaystyle \Delta _{cyc}A=0} , while the engine produces nonzero work.

The historically earlier Helmholtz free energy is defined as A = U − TS. Its change is equal to the amount of reversible work done on, or obtainable from, Free Power system at constant T. Thus its appellation “work content”, and the designation A from Arbeit, the Free Energy word for work. Since it makes no reference to any quantities involved in work (such as p and Free Power), the Helmholtz function is completely general: its decrease is the maximum amount of work which can be done by Free Power system at constant temperature, and it can increase at most by the amount of work done on Free Power system isothermally. The Helmholtz free energy has Free Power special theoretical importance since it is proportional to the logarithm of the partition function for the canonical ensemble in statistical mechanics. (Hence its utility to physicists; and to gas-phase chemists and engineers, who do not want to ignore p dV work.)