Reversible vs irreversible

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Gillian Ward 1F
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Reversible vs irreversible

Postby Gillian Ward 1F » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:24 am

Why does gas expansion in a reversible, isothermal process perform more work than irreversible?

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Re: Reversible vs irreversible

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:46 am

During a reversible expansion, typically a force must be applied for a longer period of time since during a slow reversible expansion, at every point in the expansion, the internal pressure of the confined gas must be equal to the external pressure of the surrounding gas(es).

During an irreversible expansion, the expansion is typically much faster and therefore only lasts a much shorter period of time. :)


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