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Isothermal expansion

Posted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:51 pm
by Anuk Burli 2C
Are isothermal processes always reversible? If the question doesn't specify if the process is reversible but it says it's isothermal do we assume that it's reversible?

Re: Isothermal expansion

Posted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:02 pm
by martha-1I
I would assume a process is reversible if it was stated to be isothermal since I have noticed from doing the homework problems that they can be interchangeable.

Re: Isothermal expansion

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:17 pm
by Chem_Mod
State functions will be the same whether reversible or not, since a state function is independent of the process. However, q and w will not be the same.

Take a look at the two P-V diagrams at the back of the Thermo section in the course reader, which compare reversible and irreversible isothermal processes. In particular, the work (area under the curve) is much less for the irreversible process.