One mole of a van der Waals gas is compressed quasi-satically and isothermally from volume V1 to V2. For a van der Waals gas, the pressure is:(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

p= RT/(V-b)-a/V^2

where a and b are material constants, V is the volume and RT is the gas constant x temperature.

For the first part of the problem I was supposed to write an expression for the work done. According to the equation ∂w=-pdV (where w=work, p=pressure, and V=volume) we can solve the equation for work by integrating the pressure equation from V1 to V2. Doing this, we get:

w=RTln((V_1-b)/(V_2-b))+a(1/V_1 -1/V_2 )

The second part of the question asks: Is more or less work required than for an ideal gas in the low-density limit? What about the high-density limit? Why?

Basically, I don't understand what the second part of the question is asking. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks.

(Sorry, I tired to format the equations in Microsoft equation editor first so they'd look normal, but it didn't work.. I don't know how to do that on here :-/ )

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# Homework Help: The work of compression

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