This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: WORK CONVENTIONS NATHAN MOORE There are two different conventions for the work in the first law of thermodynamics: one uses the work done ON the system and the other uses the work done BY the system. Computationally they are equivalent since W on = W by but you may be confused and hopefully this short discussion will help you. (1) Work ON the system. E = Q + W on ; dE = dQ + dW on E represents the internal energy of the system, Q the amount of heat absorbed BY the system and W on the work done ON the system by an external agent. Many people prefer to write the first law in the above way because it puts the state function, E , on the left side and the two path dependent functions, Q and W on on the right side. Many people like to use W on because the above equation has a plus sign; the upper division thermodynamics class also uses this convention. The only drawback to this convention is that the work is given by the negative of an integral W on = Z p sys dV (2) Work BY the system....
View
Full
Document
This note was uploaded on 11/19/2010 for the course LECTURE 1 taught by Professor Yildiz during the Fall '10 term at University of California, Berkeley.
 Fall '10
 yildiz
 Physics, Thermodynamics, Work

Click to edit the document details