Reversible, Irreversible

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Christy Lee 2H
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Reversible, Irreversible

Postby Christy Lee 2H » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:57 pm

Can someone explain the difference between reversible and irreversible reactions?

Jasmine Wu 1L
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Re: Reversible, Irreversible

Postby Jasmine Wu 1L » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:10 pm

In a reversible process, the system and surroundings can be "reversed" to its initial state by an infinitely small change, thus not changing the thermodynamic properties of the universe.

In an irreversible process, which is most natural, the infinitely small change does not reverse to the initial state from the final state of the system and surroundings.

Mitch Walters
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Re: Reversible, Irreversible

Postby Mitch Walters » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:05 pm

Reversible means that the two pressures are essentially equal and that an infinitesimal change can cause expansion. Irreversible is when no such change can occur.

Christy Zhao 1H
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Re: Reversible, Irreversible

Postby Christy Zhao 1H » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:33 pm

Also, keep in mind that a reversible process does more work than an irreversible process.

William Xu Dis 1D
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Re: Reversible, Irreversible

Postby William Xu Dis 1D » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:21 pm

To elaborate on the point that reversible work does more work than irreversible work, the reason why that is is that because in a reversible processes, the system is performing work against a pressure always less than just an infinitesimal amount, the max work is being done. In an irreversible process, the system is doing work against a constant pressure, so the opposing pressure of the system doesn't contribute to perform max work.

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