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Homework Help: Adiabatic Processes (cylinder)

  1. Sep 17, 2006 #1
    An insulated cylinder of cross-sectional area .010m2 contains a monatomic ideal gas at T= 280 K. The system is in a vacuum chamber. Initally the gas supports the piston at a height of .20m. Sand is slowly placed onto the piston. When 10 kg of sand has been added, the piston has fallen .05m. How much gas is in the cylinder? what is the mass of the piston?

    Im having difficulty getting started

    Can i equate the work done by gravity with the work done by the gas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2006 #2
    Isn't this more of a chemistry problem? There's another thread for chem.; you might have more luck over there.
  4. Sep 17, 2006 #3
    No its right out of a physics book! Its a thermodynamics problem
  5. Sep 17, 2006 #4
    Im getting 66.34 kg can someone confirm this
  6. Sep 17, 2006 #5
    Ouch. My bad.
  7. Sep 17, 2006 #6

    Andrew Mason

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    Explain your work and we will review it.

  8. Sep 18, 2006 #7
    Review this:

    I plan to solve the problem using the fact that the work done by gravity on the gas will equal the change in internal energy.

    I reason this because Q = u + W

    The process is adiabatic so u = -w

    does that work?
  9. Sep 18, 2006 #8

    Andrew Mason

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    How do you calculate the work done by gravity? The sand is gradually adding to the weight as the gas is compressing.

    You can determine the final volume of the gas. You can assume that no heat is exchanged with the environment, so it is adiabatic. I would use the adiabatic condition to determine the final temperature.

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