Isobaric process is a thermodynamic process in which the pressure of a system remains constant while other properties, such as volume, temperature, or internal energy, may change. The word "isobaric" is derived from two Greek words: "iso," which means "equal," and "baros," which means "pressure." Therefore, in an isobaric process, the pressure inside the system remains equal or constant throughout the entire process.
Key Points about Isobaric Process
- Constant Pressure - The defining feature of an isobaric process is that the pressure of the system remains unchanged. This can be achieved by allowing heat to be added or removed from the system while keeping the external pressure constant.
- Variable Volume - During an isobaric process, the volume of the system can change. If heat is added to the system, it may expand, and if heat is removed, it may contract, all while maintaining the same pressure.
- Work Done - Since the pressure is constant, the work done in an isobaric process can be calculated using the formula: W = PΔV.
- Heat Transfer - Heat can be transferred into or out of the system during an isobaric process.
Isobaric processes are commonly encountered in various real world situations. For example, when water boils in an open container at atmospheric pressure, it undergoes an isobaric process because the pressure remains constant during the phase change from liquid to vapor. Similarly, many industrial processes involving gases are conducted under isobaric conditions to control pressure and temperature variations.
In thermodynamic processes, isobaric processes are often represented on a pressure-volume diagram as horizontal lines, as the pressure remains constant along the path of the process. This graphical representation helps in analyzing and understanding the behavior of systems undergoing isobaric changes.