Reversible and Irreversible Expansion or Compression

This simulation shows animations and calculates work for reversible and irreversible expansions and compressions (adiabatic or isothermal) of an ideal diatomic gas in a piston-cylinder system. Select either compression or expansion using the buttons, and select two processes to compare using dropdown menus. Each grey square blocks represent a weight (equivalent to 0.10 MPa pressure) on the piston.  For adiabatic processes, the final temperature is calculated. For all processes, the final volume is calculated. Press the play button to start compression or expansion. 

view simulation and instructional video

This simulation was made at the University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.  Authors: Rachael L. Baumann, Neil Hendren

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