Carnot cycle

In the Carnot cycle, then working substance (the one which undergoes thermodynamic processes) undergoes entirely reversible processes. These processes are isothermal and adiabatic. This can be shown on a p-V graph:

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For the isothermal processes:

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So:

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For the adiabatic processes:

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These can be combined to find:

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meaning that:

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Using both the adiabatic and isothermal equations, we now know:

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This gives the efficiency:

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This sets an upper limit for the efficiency of real engines.

Back to Contents: Physics: Thermodynamics

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