Reversible vs Irreversible Work


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Arjun Sharma 1D
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

Reversible vs Irreversible Work

Postby Arjun Sharma 1D » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:58 pm

I remember in one of Dr. Lavelle's lectures he reasoned that reversible processes do more work than irreversible processes because they're pushing against a higher external pressure. For instance, 2 atm pushing against 2 atm for reversible and 2 atm pushing against 1 atm for irreversible. But I was wondering if it's possible to have a higher external pressure for the irreversible situation, like 2 atm inside against an external pressure of 3 atm?

Rachel Formaker 1E
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am
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Re: Reversible vs Irreversible Work

Postby Rachel Formaker 1E » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:23 pm

If the external pressure is higher than the internal pressure, there will be compression rather than expansion of the gas, so you're not comparing it to reversible expansion anymore.
However, I would assume that reversible compression would be more work being done on the system than irreversible compression, because reversible processes in general are the maximum amount of work done.

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