Problem: Under what conditions will the quantities q and w be negative numbers?

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We are being asked to determine the conditions when q (heat) and w (work) are negative (-).


Recall the heat, q and work, w of the system are used to calculate the internal energy (ΔE or ΔU) of a system.


The relationship between internal energy, heat, and work is shown in the following equation:


U=q+w

ΔU = internal energy, J
q = heat, J
w = work, J


We can identify the sign for q and w by knowing its source or direction: the system or the surroundings

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Under what conditions will the quantities q and w be negative numbers?

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Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Internal Energy concept. You can view video lessons to learn Internal Energy. Or if you need more Internal Energy practice, you can also practice Internal Energy practice problems.

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