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Isothermal vs. adiabatic

  1. Sep 7, 2010 #1
    What's the difference?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2010 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What are definitions?
  4. Sep 7, 2010 #3
    Well, from what I can tell, saying a transformation of a system is isothermal indicates no net change in the internal energy of the system, implying [itex]\Delta U = 0[/itex], implying [itex]W = -\Delta Q[/itex]. Adiabatic changes only entail no heat being added or subtracted to or from the system. So there isn't necessarily a zero change in U, since the system can do work, or have work done on it.

    Is everything I've said right?
  5. Sep 7, 2010 #4
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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