Work of Expansion


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Work of Expansion

Postby 204625955 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:02 pm

When calculating work, is it negative only when it is expanding? Would it be positive when it isn't?

Laila Sathe 1D
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Re: Work of Expansion

Postby Laila Sathe 1D » Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:47 pm

Work is negative relative to the system when the system expands because the system loses energy as it does work on the surroundings. It's positive when the system is compressed because the surroundings do work on the system. Because, in this case, delta V is negative, the value for work will be positive, which makes sense.

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