Checkout JEE MAINS 2022 Question Paper Analysis : Checkout JEE MAINS 2022 Question Paper Analysis :

Reversible And Irreversible Processes

We see so many changes happening around us every day, such as boiling water, rusting of iron, melting ice, burning of paper, etc. In all these processes, we observe that the system in consideration goes from an initial state to a final state where some amount of heat is absorbed from the surroundings and some amount of work W is done by the system on the surrounding. Now, for how many such systems can the system and the surrounding be brought back to their initial state? With common examples such as rusting and fermentation, we can say that it is not possible in most cases. In this section, we shall learn about reversible and irreversible processes.

Reversible And Irreversible

What are Reversible Processes?

A thermodynamic process (state i → state f ) is said to be reversible if the process can be turned back to such that both the system and the surroundings return to their original states, with no other change anywhere else in the universe. As we know, in reality, no such processes as reversible processes can exist. Thus, the reversible processes can easily be defined as idealizations or models of real processes on which the limits of the system or device are to be defined. They help us in incurring the maximum efficiency a system can provide in ideal working conditions and thus the target design that can be set.

Examples of Reversible Processes

Here, we have listed a few examples of Reversible Processes:

  • extension of springs
  • slow adiabatic compression or expansion of gases
  • electrolysis (with no resistance in the electrolyte)
  • the frictionless motion of solids
  • slow isothermal compression or expansion of gases

What are Irreversible Processes?

An irreversible process can be defined as a process in which the system and the surroundings do not return to their original condition once the process is initiated. Take an example of an automobile engine that has travelled a distance with the aid of fuel equal to an amount ‘x’. During the process, the fuel burns to provide energy to the engine, converting itself into smoke and heat energy. We cannot retrieve the energy lost by the fuel and cannot get back the original form. There are many factors due to which the irreversibility of a process occurs, namely:

  1. The friction that converts the energy of the fuel to heat energy
  2. The unrestrained expansion of the fluid prevents from regaining the original form of the fuel Heat transfer through a finite temperature, the reverse of which is not possible as the forward process, in this case, is spontaneous
  3. Mixing of two different substances that cannot be separated as the intermixing process is again spontaneous in nature, the reverse of which is not feasible.

Thus, some processes are reversible while others are irreversible in nature depending upon their ability to return to their original state from their final state.

Examples of Irreversible Processes

A few examples of Irreversible Processes are:

  • Relative motion with friction
  • Throttling
  • Heat transfer
  • Diffusion
  • Electricity flow through a resistance

Below is the video explaining the reversible and irreversible changes:

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is a reversible process?

Reversible process can be turned back such that both the system and the surroundings return to their original states, with no other change anywhere else in the universe.

What is an irreversible process?

An irreversible process can be defined as a process in which the system and the surroundings do not return to their original condition once the process is initiated.

State TRUE or FALSE: Flow of current through a resistor is an irreversible process.

TRUE

Give some examples of reversible processes.

  • Extension of springs
  • Slow adiabatic compression or expansion of gases
  • The frictionless motion of solids
  • Slow isothermal compression or expansion of gases

Give some examples of irreversible processes.

  • Relative motion with friction
  • Throttling
  • Heat transfer
  • Diffusion

Stay tuned with BYJU’S for more such interesting articles. Also, register to “BYJU’S – The Learning App” for loads of interactive, engaging Physics-related videos and an unlimited academic assist.

Test your Knowledge on Reversible Irreversible Processes

2 Comments

  1. Different phrases of moon it is a reversible or irreversible and slow or fast, undesirable or desirable

    1. Different phases of the moon is slow and desirable. Also, different phases of the moon are part of periodic changes and therefore, they keep occurring. So, it cannot be termed as either reversible or irreversible but periodic change.

Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

DOWNLOAD

App NOW