This perspective is mainly written with graduate students in mind. I can remember as a grad-student walking home one night from Caltech (Pasadena, CA), in the dark, thinking about the thermodynamics underlying trace element partitioning. I thought I knew the basic thermodynamic equations, but I couldn’t convince myself that I knew what they meant, physically. And there seemed to be no expert guidance on the subject; there were no books. Intuitively, I believed I knew the answer, but I also knew that I couldn’t prove it. As a grad-student, I knew that anything I couldn’t prove would never get me...

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