# Heat Engines and Efficiency

In a heat engine we ultimately care about the eﬃciency of the entire cycle. That is,
what percentage of the heat which ﬂows into your system is converted to work. However,
you could certainly ask that same question for an individual step in a cycle. Speciﬁcally,
determine the eﬃciency of an isobaric process which takes a system from a volume V to a
volume αV where α > 1. You will not need to know the actual value of α. In the end, it
will cancel out of all expressions.
a: Do this calculation if the gas is monatomic.
b: Do this calculation if the gas is diatomic.

I'm stuck on trying to incorporate variables beyond

E=(3/2)(8.134)T-a/V

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Andrew Mason
Homework Helper
In a heat engine we ultimately care about the eﬃciency of the entire cycle. That is,
what percentage of the heat which ﬂows into your system is converted to work. However,
you could certainly ask that same question for an individual step in a cycle. Speciﬁcally,
determine the eﬃciency of an isobaric process which takes a system from a volume V to a
volume αV where α > 1. You will not need to know the actual value of α. In the end, it
will cancel out of all expressions.
a: Do this calculation if the gas is monatomic.
b: Do this calculation if the gas is diatomic.

I'm stuck on trying to incorporate variables beyond

E=(3/2)(8.134)T-a/V