Day: April 30, 2017

Isothermal process

Isothermal process

Isothermal process

04/30/17

“Can we have a thermodynamic process in which the temperature of the system remains constant?”
When working with thermodynamic systems, it is very easy for the internal temperature to change when other properties change as well. However, is it possible to have a fixed constant temperature process? Well, let’s think about how this can be accomplished. We know that when a system does work (such as a gas expanding) it will lose some of its internal energy and therefore cooling it. However, if we were to then supply heat to counteract this loss, the temperature would remain consistent, therefore resulting in what engineers and scientists call an isothermal process. In an isothermal gas expansion, the change in volume is directly equal to the number of moles present in the gas times the (fixed) temperature times universal gas constant divided by the change of pressure, which can be summarized symbolically as (Delta)V=nRT/(Delta)P. Isothermal processes are used to study highly structured mechanical systems such as Carnot cycles and chemical reactions.