Concept

Isothermal process

Summary
In thermodynamics, an isothermal process is a type of thermodynamic process in which the temperature T of a system remains constant: ΔT = 0.This typically occurs when a system is in contact with an outside thermal reservoir, and a change in the system occurs slowly enough to allow the system to be continuously adjusted to the temperature of the reservoir through heat exchange (see quasi-equilibrium). In contrast, an adiabatic process is where a system exchanges no heat with its surroundings (Q = 0). Simply, we can say that in an isothermal process
  • T = \text{constant}
  • \Delta T = 0
  • dT = 0
  • For ideal gases only, internal energy \Delta U = 0 while in adiabatic processes:
  • Q = 0.
Etymology The adjective "isothermal" is derived from the Greek words "ἴσος" ("isos") meaning "equal" and "θέρμη" ("therme") meaning "heat". Examples Isothermal processes can occur in any kind of system th
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