Problem: Imagine a container placed in a tub of water, as depicted in the accompanying diagram.If the contents of the container are the system and heat is able to flow through the container walls, what qualitative changes will occur in the temperatures of the system and in its surroundings? From the systems perspective, is the process exothermic or endothermic?

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For a given container placed in a tub of water, as shown in the given diagram, we’re asked to determine the (a) qualitative changes that will occur in the temperature of the system and the surroundings (b) if the process is exothermic or endothermic from the system’s perspective.


We know that the contents of the container are the system and heat is able to flow through the container walls.


The large cylinder is at 290 K, while a smaller cylinder inside it is at 350 K.


Recall that the direction of heat flow will be from hot (higher temperature) to cold (lower temperature).  

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Problem Details

Imagine a container placed in a tub of water, as depicted in the accompanying diagram.

A large cylinder is at 290 Kelvin.  Within it is a smaller cylinder, at 350 Kelvin.

If the contents of the container are the system and heat is able to flow through the container walls, what qualitative changes will occur in the temperatures of the system and in its surroundings? From the systems perspective, is the process exothermic or endothermic?

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

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

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