Problem: Consider these fictitious internal energy gauges for a chemical system and its surroundings:Which diagram best represents the energy gauges for the same system and surroundings following an energy exchange in which ΔEsys is negative?

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FREE Expert Solution

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


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


Before calculating internal energy, we have to identify heat (q) and work (w) first.

For heat, q:

+ q → if the system gains, takes in, or absorbs heat or energy
– q → if the system loses, evolves, gives off, or releases heat or energy

For work, w:

+ w → work is done on the system by the surroundings (volume: compresses)
– w → work is done by the system on the surroundings (volume: expands)

For the energy exchange given, -ΔEsys = + Δ Esurr.

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Problem Details

Consider these fictitious internal energy gauges for a chemical system and its surroundings:
An energy gauge that is three fourths full for the chemical system and one fourth full for the surroundings.

Which diagram best represents the energy gauges for the same system and surroundings following an energy exchange in which ΔEsys is negative?

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Ratcliff's class at WVU.