Free expansion and irreversible expansion


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Sue Xu 2K
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

Free expansion and irreversible expansion

Postby Sue Xu 2K » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:05 pm

Is the term "free expansion" the same as irreversible expansion?

Mitch Walters
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

Re: Free expansion and irreversible expansion

Postby Mitch Walters » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:11 pm

I believe free expansion is when there is no opposing pressure on a system, so it is allowed to expand without doing any work. Irreversible expansion is what allows for the maximum amount of work.

Jenny Cheng 2K
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:05 am
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Re: Free expansion and irreversible expansion

Postby Jenny Cheng 2K » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:50 pm

No work is done in free expansion; an example of free expansion is a gas pushing against a piston and into a vacuum. Free expansion is an irreversible process, but it is not the same as irreversible expansion. For an irreversible expansion, P(external) does not equal P(internal).
Reversible expansion allows for the maximum amount of work to be done because P(external) equals P(internal).


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