# Work Done in Reversible and Irreversible Compression of an Ideal Gas

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This Demonstration compares the thermodynamic processes of reversible and irreversible isothermal compression of an ideal gas. The graph and image of a piston at the top represent the slow compression of a gas from some initial volume to some final volume . Reversible work is given by the integral , which equals the area shown in darker blue. By the usual thermodynamic convention, positive work means work done *by *the surroundings *on* the system. Since the process is isothermal, this equals the negative of the heat produced.

Contributed by: Blair Winograd (May 2015)

Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

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Reference

[1] P. Atkins and L. Jones, *Chemical Principles: The Quest for Insight*,* *New York: W.H. Freeman, 1999.

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