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Problem: Two different gases occupy two separate bulbs. Consider the process that occurs when the stopcock separating the gases is opened, assuming the gases behave ideally.How does the process affect the enthalpy of the surroundings? 

FREE Expert Solution

In this problem, we are asked about how the enthalpy of the surroundings is affected when the two gases are mixed together.

Enthalpy is a thermodynamic property that is defined as:

H=U+PV 

Where is enthalpy, is internal energy, is pressure, and is volume.


And the change in enthalpy (ΔH) is equal to the heat that flows in and out of the system, in which, the enthalpy change of the universe is the sum of the enthalpy change of the system and the surroundings.

𝞓Huniverse=𝞓Hsystem+𝞓Hsurrounding


The system is the region in space that is subject to thermodynamic study. While the surrounding is everything that lies around the system.


To solve this problem, remember that:

ΔHsurr > 0: ΔHsystem < 0, the reaction is exothermic, heat is absorbed by the surrounding, heat is released by the system.

ΔHsurr < 0: ΔHsystem > 0, the reaction is endothermic, heat is absorbed by the system from the surrounding.

ΔHsurr = 0: ΔHsystem = 0, the reaction is neither endothermic nor exothermic, heat is neither lost nor gained.

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Problem Details

Two different gases occupy two separate bulbs. Consider the process that occurs when the stopcock separating the gases is opened, assuming the gases behave ideally.

How does the process affect the enthalpy of the surroundings?

 Two flasks are shown, connected by a stopcock.  Each contains ten spheres of a single type, but each flask has a different type.

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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 Spontaneous Reaction concept. You can view video lessons to learn Spontaneous Reaction. Or if you need more Spontaneous Reaction practice, you can also practice Spontaneous Reaction practice problems.

What professor is this problem relevant for?

Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Van Dorn's class at ARIZONA.