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Janice Xiao 1I
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:00 am


Postby Janice Xiao 1I » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:57 pm

Can someone explain why there's a negative sign in the w=-P*deltaV equation?

Jason Liu 1C
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

Re: w=-P*deltaV

Postby Jason Liu 1C » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:08 am

At a constant pressure, if volume increases, it means that the system is expanding and energy is leaving the system as work. This leaves the system with a lower internal energy. The negative sign means that when a system expand, it is losing energy as work.

Julianna Thrasher 1B
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:00 am

Re: w=-P*deltaV

Postby Julianna Thrasher 1B » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:05 pm

We use this equation when the system is at equilibrium (and is therefore reversible) in order to calculate work done by expansion against constant pressure and slight changes in volume. The negative sign shows the system is losing energy.

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Re: w=-P*deltaV

Postby aTirumalai-1I » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:14 pm

Take a look at this response; it really helped me understand the conceptual reasoning behind it:


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