Irreversible vs Reversible processes

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Natalie Yakobian
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Irreversible vs Reversible processes

Postby Natalie Yakobian » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:52 am

Hi
I was wondering if someone could explain Irreversible vs Reversible processes?

Thanks!

Angela Chen 2K
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Re: Irreversible vs Reversible processes

Postby Angela Chen 2K » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:30 pm

Irreversible processes would denote any change to a system that cannot be acted upon in return. For example, a reaction where the product/reactant formation is not in equilibrium. If a reaction forms a product that cannot reversibly convert to its initial reactant, then that reaction is said to be irreversible. Vice versa for reversible reactions. In our chapter's context, this definition is expanded upon (no pun intended) to accommodate gases and work. The equation -PdeltaV represents irreversible expansion, as if the work/progress done by a system cannot be undone by that same system. The -nRT ln V1/V2 is for reversible, isothermal systems. The best example would probably be the gas piston in equilibrium, with a constant rise/fall as the system and surroundings counter each other's changes. Compared to irreversible, reversible tends to do more work with the same system. Hope this helped! :>


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