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Old Feb 11th 2010, 07:17 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Van der Waals equation of state + work question

Here's the problem:



Consider a system described by the van der Waals equation of state which expands at constant temperature from volume
V1 to volume V2. Assume that the density g= N/V 1 over the range of volumes of interest.

(a) Calculate the work
Wvdw done on the gas to the lowest relevant order in g.

(b) Calculate the work


Wideal done on the gas under the same conditions assuming that the gas is ideal.

(c) Find the difference

Wvdw Wideal and discuss the reason why this difference is positive or negative as a function of the temperature.

I've already determined the answer to b, but I'm not sure how to get the work done on the gas in a non-ideal situation, described by the Van der Waals equation of state. In addition, I'm not sure what (a) means when it refers to the lowest relevant order in g.


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