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Microscopic potential energy of a gas

  1. Apr 22, 2008 #1
    In a textbook it is stated that if a piston of a gas syringe is used to compress the gas inside. Its Potential Energy increases. Can anyone give me a reason for this?

    Also please give me a gross idea that on which factors does potential energy of a gas depends.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2008 #2
  4. Apr 23, 2008 #3

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    The piston is doing work on the gas, thus adding energy the system. If no heat (or other energy) escapes, the internal energy of the gas must increase. (Where you say potential energy, I think you mean internal energy.)

    Read this: Internal Energy
  5. Apr 23, 2008 #4
    no i was only considering potential energy, disregarding the kinetic energy.
  6. Apr 23, 2008 #5
    that link was helpful....but one last thing...
    you say internal energy increases as a whole.....does that mean Ek should also increase causing temp to rise as well?
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