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Thermodynamic processes: probably easy question

  1. Aug 4, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I'm probably over thinking this question.

    An ideal gas is placed in a thin walled aluminum cylinder and slowly compressed to 25% of its original volume. The process is best described as adiabatic, isothermal, isochoric, or isobaric?

    2. Relevant equations

    none

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I know the difference between the different processes. I'm just not sure how the thin walled aluminum container adds to the problem or if it does. In similar problems, a thick walled aluminum container represented constant volume.

    Obviously the answer is not isochoric since the volume changes. I don't think it is adiabatic because the process happens slowly.

    That leaves isothermal and isobaric. I know isothermal must happen slowly enough so thermal equilibrium is maintained. (This is what I suspect is the answer).

    How would a thin walled aluminum container affect pressure?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2011 #2

    Redbelly98

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    Welcome to Physics Forums.

    Perhaps the wall thickness could affect the insulating ability of the container.

    Hmmm, if you are basically deciding between isothermal and isobaric, then think about this: if it's isobaric, then what happens to the temperature of the gas upon compression in order to keep the pressure constant? Is it reasonable for this to happen?
     
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