Thinking Point: Potential energy and isothermal expansion.


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SubparChemist
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Thinking Point: Potential energy and isothermal expansion.

Postby SubparChemist » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:01 pm

One of the thinking points in the book has confused me a bit, not quite sure what the answer is.

"Potential energy is related to position. Therefore, in an isothermal expansion, why is there no potential energy change as the molecules move further away?"

What's the reasoning behind this?

JuliaPark2H
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Re: Thinking Point: Potential energy and isothermal expansio

Postby JuliaPark2H » Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:12 pm

I have no 100% sureness on this, but is it dependent on the fact that it's isothermal? The constant temperature means that there is no change in temperature while it expands, so heat is transferred to compensate for the expansion's releasing of heat.


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