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The universe is an isolated system because neither matter or energy can be exchanged/transferred in or out. Yes, there are no rigid walls or insulation but it is still considered an isolated system as the most important definition is that matter and energy cannot be exchanged. The universe includes everything, so if it includes everything it can only interact within itself.
You might be getting confused with the entire universe vs the "observable" universe. The entire universe is isolated because it contains everything by definition, and has no surroundings as a result. It literally is everything. However, if you are referring to the universe that we can see, then you could argue that it is an open system as there are "boundaries" we have not yet overcome in which matter and energy can freely pass through. Hope that helps!
Clarissa Molina 1D wrote:Would a 20mL vial filled with an organic solvent be open or isolated? and why?
A vial would be an open system because it can exchange both heat and matter with its surroundings. If the vial was closed, it would be a closed system. If the vial was closed and insulated, it would be an isolated system.
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