Internal Energy Video Lessons

Concept:

Problem: An ideal gas (which is is a hypothetical gas that conforms to the laws governing gas behavior) confined to a container with a massless piston at the top. A massless wire is attached to the piston. When an external pressure of 2.00 atm is applied to the wire, the gas compresses from 5.90 to 2.95 L. When the external pressure is increased to 2.50 atm, the gas further compresses from 2.95 to 2.36 L.In a separate experiment with the same initial conditions, a pressure of 2.50 atm was applied to the ideal gas, decreasing its volume from 5.90 to 2.36 L in one step.If the final temperature was the same for both processes, what is the difference between q for the two-step process and q for the one-step process in joules?Express your answer with the appropriate units.State functions versus path functionsThe change in internal energy, ΔE, is a state function because it depends only on the initial and final states of the system, and not on the path of change. In contrast, q and w are path functions because they depend on the path of change and not just the initial and final states of the system.

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Problem Details

An ideal gas (which is is a hypothetical gas that conforms to the laws governing gas behavior) confined to a container with a massless piston at the top. A massless wire is attached to the piston. When an external pressure of 2.00 atm is applied to the wire, the gas compresses from 5.90 to 2.95 L. When the external pressure is increased to 2.50 atm, the gas further compresses from 2.95 to 2.36 L.

In a separate experiment with the same initial conditions, a pressure of 2.50 atm was applied to the ideal gas, decreasing its volume from 5.90 to 2.36 L in one step.

If the final temperature was the same for both processes, what is the difference between q for the two-step process and q for the one-step process in joules?

State functions versus path functions

The change in internal energy, ΔE, is a state function because it depends only on the initial and final states of the system, and not on the path of change. In contrast, q and w are path functions because they depend on the path of change and not just the initial and final states of the system.