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Thermodynamic processes overview

A thermodynamic process is the transformation of a system from an initial state to a final state. This transformation is accompanied by changes in the pressure, volume and temperature of the system.

A state is a set of values of physical quantities (e.g. volume, pressure, temperature) that describe the properties of a system.

Thermodynamic processes are represented by pressure-volume (p-V) lines/curves. They are often drawn with arrows indicating the path taken.

Several connected p-V lines/curves are often drawn on the same axes to form a cyclical process.

An example of a cyclic process: A represents an expansion at constant pressure, B represents a decrease in pressure at constant volume, C represents a compression at constant pressure, and D represents an increase in pressure at constant volume.
An example of a cyclic process: A represents an expansion at constant pressure, B represents a decrease in pressure at constant volume, C represents a compression at constant pressure, and D represents an increase in pressure at constant volume.