11. Kent W. Mayhew, Work in Mechanical Systems

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Volume 19: Pages 577-582, 2006

Work in Mechanical Systems

Kent W. Mayhew 1

168 Pine Glen Crescent, Nepean, Ontario K2G 0G8 Canada

Traditionally in thermodynamics mechanical work is defined in terms of PdV. Although it is empirically correct to consider all mechanical work in terms of PdV, we shall show that it is theoretically incorrect to do so. More specifically, from a theoretical perspective, mechanical work should often be expressed in terms of VdP and not PdV.

Keywords: mechanics, work, pressure, volume, energy, thermodynamics, first law

Received: November 4, 2005; Published Online: December 15, 2008