A Simple Cycle

In-class Content

Lab: Name the Experiment I

Link to Analyzing a Simple Cycle using a $pV$ Curve Activity

Lab Highlights

  1. This small group activity is designed to help upper division undergraduate students understand thermodynamic cycles for an ideal gas.
  2. Students use the ideal gas equation of state to work out the efficiency of the cycle.
  3. The wrap-up discussion contrasts the efficiency of this cycle with the Carnot efficiency.

Homework for Energy and Entropy

  1. (SimpleCycleInSTDiagram) What goes here?

    Simple cycle in S-T diagram (This problem is identical to the in class group exercise) Consider the cycle below. This cycle represents a heat engine, in which energy is transferred by heating from a hot thermal reservoir, work is done, and energy is transferred by heating to a cold thermal reservoir.


    1. What is the heat in each step?

    2. What is the net heat for the cycle?

    3. What is the net work done for the cycle? What can you say about the work done in each step?

    4. What is the efficiency of the system as a function of the temperatures of the hot and the cold reservoirs?

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