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Hey there! is the energy used as work of expansion equation. This means that this equation represents work for the expansion of a system (NOT its surroundings). Using that equation, when an expansion occurs, there is an increase in volume (positive Delta V) and the system is losing energy, so the work value will be negative. When a compression occurs, there is a decrease in volume (negative Delta V) and the system will gain energy, so the work value will be positive. Without the negative sign in the formula, the above would not be true. Hope that helps!
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