Is work a function of state in adiabatic processes?

  • #1
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I'm reading a thermo book and I'm on the chapter dealing with the first law of thermodynamics. The book is discussing functions of state and how the internal energy is a function of state because it has a well defined value at every equilibrium state of the system.

It says that the work and heat are not functions of state because if we look at a given state, we wouldn't be able to tell how the energy was added or subtracted from the heat or work in order to achieve our current total internal energy.

My question is: in an adiabatic process, where Q = 0, the internal energy is just equal to the work done on the system. In this case, would work now be a function of state along with the internal energy since the work would be well defined always?

Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I'm reading a thermo book and I'm on the chapter dealing with the first law of thermodynamics. The book is discussing functions of state and how the internal energy is a function of state because it has a well defined value at every equilibrium state of the system.

It says that the work and heat are not functions of state because if we look at a given state, we wouldn't be able to tell how the energy was added or subtracted from the heat or work in order to achieve our current total internal energy.

My question is: in an adiabatic process, where Q = 0, the internal energy is just equal to the work done on the system. In this case, would work now be a function of state along with the internal energy since the work would be well defined always?

Thanks!
Suppose you had another process path (non-adiabatic) that took you to the exact same final state. Would the work be the same? Certainly, the change in internal energy would be the same. This is what we mean when we say something is a function of state.
 

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