internal energy of an ideal gas

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Michael Du 1E
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:16 am

internal energy of an ideal gas

Postby Michael Du 1E » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:10 pm

Can anyone please explain why the delta internal energy for am isothermal expansion or compression of an ideal gas is zero? Thank you.

Skyllar Kuppinger 1F
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:16 am

Re: internal energy of an ideal gas

Postby Skyllar Kuppinger 1F » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:22 pm

When the gas is expanding it is losing energy in the form of work. However if the expansion is reversible, then this is happening slowly. This means there is time for heat from the surroundings to enter the system. So basically the energy lost by work is replaced by heat.
Here is the math:
Delta u= q + w
Delta u = 0

The q and the w offset each other to make zero. Hope this helps !! :)

Nick Fiorentino 1E
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:16 am

Re: internal energy of an ideal gas

Postby Nick Fiorentino 1E » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:51 pm

In addition to the previous poster, since the reaction is isothermal, the temperature is constant, so the heat can slowly enter the system and offset the energy lost by work. It's important to note that this happens when the reaction is isothermal

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