Thermal Equilibrium

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Jose Torres
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:22 am

Thermal Equilibrium

Postby Jose Torres » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:08 pm

When talking about thermal equilibrium, the book says that the equilibrium is dynamic in the sense that the molecular processes continue at equal rates. But what does it mean by "the molecular processes" still continuing? What exactly is still happening?

Jessica Castro 2H
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:29 am

Re: Thermal Equilibrium

Postby Jessica Castro 2H » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:18 pm

"Molecular processes" is referring to the transfer of energy as heat between the system and the surroundings. Therefore, at thermal equilibrium, energy is being transferred between the system and its surroundings at the same rate.

Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:19 am

Re: Thermal Equilibrium

Postby MadisonB » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:13 am

At equilibrium processes do not suddenly stop happening. So, equilibrium is defined as when the rate of transfer between the surrounds and the system are equal. An example could be a steaming cup of water. If you leave in a room at room temperature eventually the water will go to room temperate when the water is transferring the same amount of heat as it is taking in from its surroundings.

Elias Omar 1G
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:17 am

Re: Thermal Equilibrium

Postby Elias Omar 1G » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:26 am

Just like with chemical equilibrium thermal equilibrium is dynamic. This means a that heat is going into the surroundings and the system, and thermal equilibrium is released after the rate at which heat exchange is occuring is equal.

Brian Chang 2H
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:17 am

Re: Thermal Equilibrium

Postby Brian Chang 2H » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:33 am

Think of thermal equilibrium like chemical equilibrium.

We say that a solution is at equilibrium when the rate of the forward reaction is equal to the rate of the backward reaction.

Similarly, we say that a system is at thermal equilibrium when the energy (heat) lost to the surroundings is the same amount as the energy (heat) gained from the surroundings.

Letizia Ye 4F
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

Re: Thermal Equilibrium

Postby Letizia Ye 4F » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:43 pm

This is similar to chemical equilibrium we covered last unit, where the energy transfer between the molecules don't stop, but rather there is no net energy movement between the system and the surroundings as the rate of energy transfer is the same.

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