Thermodynamics - Carnot Cycle

  • #1

Homework Statement

I don't understand the process between the points in a carnot cycle.

Homework Equations

Can someone please explain what is going on from point to point in terms of Q (heat), U(thermal energy), and Work?

The Attempt at a Solution

  • #2
Wikipedia's page on the" [Broken] does a good job of explaining what is occurring in terms of heat flow and work.

In the higher temperature isothermal part, heat flows into the system. Since it is isothermal, there is no change in U so [itex]\Delta Q = W[/itex] (expansion-positive work done by the system). In the cooler isothermal part heat flows out of the system with no change in U so work must be done on the system (compression). Of course in the adiabatic parts there is no heat flow so the work done + the change in internal energy = 0: [itex]\Delta U = -W[/itex].

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