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I think of it like the climbing a mountain example Lavelle gave in class. Hikers took two different paths- one long and one direct route. They ended in the same place, but the distance the long one did was much greater than the short path. This is similar to work in a reaction because you can take different "paths" and some require more work or heat. Also, Lyndon taught a nice way to remember the state functions... PdTVHUGS are the state functions!
Heat and work are not state functions because the way to get to the final endpoint can be done so using different paths in which one expends more energy than the other. Getting from one place to another is not all that matters; it matters, however, how much heat and work you use up to get there.
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