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in the course reader, it says that if the change in pressure is 0( meaning constant pressure),then the change in internal energy is equal to q+w. How would you calculate internal energy if the pressure wasnt constant while the system is getting compressed?
If the pressure is not constant, you are calculating the work for a reversible pathway. If you are in isothermal conditions (temp is constant) and you have a system that is being compressed with changing volume, the work expression would be -nrtln(V2/V1), where V2 is the final volume and V1 is the initial value. Use this value of w to use in the deltaU = q+w expression to calculate the internal energy.
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