Pressure Internal vs. External

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Isita Tripathi 2E
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:00 am
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Pressure Internal vs. External

Postby Isita Tripathi 2E » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:10 am

Could someone explain why we can replace PΔV = ΔnRT for P(ex)Δv in the equation for work at a constant pressure?

For example, say you had a balloon with an ideal gas expanding to twice its volume at an unstated, constant external pressure. The pressure inside the balloon decreases as volume increases. Then, if you calculate PV = nRT, wouldn't this be different for internal vs external throughout the volume change? Why can we replace it for the external pressure in the work equation?

Wenxin Fan 1J
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:00 am

Re: Pressure Internal vs. External

Postby Wenxin Fan 1J » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:42 am

Work is the ability to move/push against an external force/pressure, which is why P external is used. In chemistry we view work from the point of view of the system.

Luke Bricca 1H
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

Re: Pressure Internal vs. External

Postby Luke Bricca 1H » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:06 pm

To add onto this using gasses as an example, P external must be used because work is achieved through expansion or compression against a constant external pressure or force, not against the internal pressure of the system.

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