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Can we calculate the work done during an irreversible process in terms of an area on a pV diagram? Is any work done?

Can we calculate the work done during an irreversible process in terms of an area on a pV diagram? Is any work done?

Grade:11

1 Answers

Aditi Chauhan
askIITians Faculty 396 Points
6 years ago
No, we cannot calculate the work done during an irreversible process in terms of an area on a pV diagram.
pV diagram or indicator diagram is a curve plotted by taking pressure p as the ordinate and volume V as the abscissa. The area occupied in between the pV curve and V-axis numerically equal to the work done during a thermodynamic process which is represented by that curve.
A process which cannot be made to be traced in opposite direction by reversing the controlling factor is called an irreversible process. Since it is not cyclic process, thus we cannot trace a closed curve. Therefore, we cannot calculate the work done during an irreversible process in terms of an area on a pV diagram.
Yes, there will be a work done, since work is path function. Thus work done in a thermodynamic process, depends upon the path along which the change takes place. That is why work will be done in an irreversible process.

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