Question

A horizontal piston/cylinder arrangement is placed in a constant temperature bath. The piston slides in the cylinder with negligible friction, and an external force hold it in place against an initial gas pressure of 1 bar. The initial gas volume is 0.04 m^3. The external force on the piston is reduced gradually, and the gas expands isothermally as its volume triples.

(a) If the volume of the gas is related to its pressure so that the product PV^t is constant, what is the work done by the gas in moving the external force?

(b) How much would be done if the external force were suddenly reduced to half its initial value instead of being gradually reduced?

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