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Before releasing the compressed air, the system will have a high internal energy due to the high pressure inside. After releasing, there will be a work of expansion on the surroundings, and this in turn will decrease the internal energy of the system. In other words, the system loses energy.
The system loses energy by expansion because the internal energy is greater than the surroundings. To balance out the energy difference, the system will apply energy on the pistol and push it outwards, losing energy to the surroundings.
Dina 2k wrote:can someone briefly explain the piston example the professor did in class today? how would the energy of the system decrease?
Assuming that the piston can move, the system can increase its volume. In increasing volume, the system is doing work on the surroundings. In doing work on the surroundings, the system is losing energy.
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