NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ860644
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
When an Adiabatic Irreversible Expansion or Compression Becomes Reversible
Anacleto, Joaquim; Ferreira, J. M.; Soares, A. A.
European Journal of Physics, v30 n3 p487-495 May 2009
This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the concepts of a "reversible process" and "entropy". For this purpose, an adiabatic irreversible expansion or compression is analysed, by considering that an ideal gas is expanded (compressed), from an initial pressure P[subscript i] to a final pressure P[subscript f], by being placed in contact with a set of "N" work reservoirs with pressures decreasing (increasing) in a geometric or arithmetic progression. The gas entropy change [delta]S is evaluated and it is clearly shown that [delta]S greater than 0 for any finite "N", but as the number of work reservoirs goes to infinity the entropy change goes to zero, i.e. the process becomes reversible. Additionally, this work draws attention to the work reservoir concept, which is virtually ignored in the literature, and to its analogy with the commonly used heat reservoir concept. Finally, it complements and reinforces an earlier study dealing with irreversible cooling or heating so that the synergy created by the two studies is important from both theoretical and educational standpoints. (Contains 4 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A