An ideal gas is allowed to expand against a constant pressure of 2 bar from 10 L to 50 L in one step. Calculate the amount of work done by the gas. If the same expansion were carried out reversibly, will the work done be higher or lower than the earlier case?
(Given that 1 L bar = 100 J)

Answers (1)

We know that the amount of work done =-p_{ext}\Delta V

On substituting the values in the formula, we get,

-2\; bar\times (50-10)L=-80\; L\; bar

According to the described problem, 1L\; Bar = 100\; J

Therefore, -80\; L\; bar=(-80\times 100)=-8000\; J

=-8\; kJ, which is the amount of work done

The significance of the negative sign states that the work is done on the surroundings of the system. In the case of reversible expansion, the work done will be more.

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