Reversible Expansion


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Reversible Expansion

Postby kennedyp » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:52 pm

Why are systems at equilibrium reversible?

Ipsita Srinivas 1K
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Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:24 am

Re: Reversible Expansion

Postby Ipsita Srinivas 1K » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:30 pm

My logic is that because both the backward and forward reactions are occurring at the same rate, there isn't really a direction or preference for the system. For irreversible reactions, there is a clear energy flow and even a small imbalance in pressure or temperature conditions isn't going to affect that. In a reversible reaction, it's almost as if the system is barely expanding (in the case of an isothermal gas expansion) and could just as easily compress with only a little increase in external pressure. There is a sort of weird dynamic balance happening, which is why you can say it's in equilibrium.

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