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PC 1431 Experiment P2 (Heat Engine) Calculations and Discussions 1) The Graph Showing Work Done: The P-V graph,

is one where the Pressure is denoted by the y-axis, and the volume by the xaxis. The volume (area x distance) in this case, is actually a measure of the displacement in the piston, brought about by the expansion of the gas. The area is the cross-sectional area of the piston. Work Done = Force x Displacement = (Pressure x Area) x Displacement = Pressure x Volume = Pressure x (Area x Displacement) Plotting the pressure of the piston in the gas, against the corresponding displacement seen in the piston, we get a Pressure Displacement graph. A Pressure Volume graph can be obtained by factoring in the cross-sectional area of the piston, which remains as a constant throughout the experiment. Therefore, the value of the work done is simply the area under the P-V graph. In this case however, the area is enclosed by the P-V graph, so we simply find that area. We could integrate the function, such that we can find the area under the graph, but it is easier to imply find the area enclosed by the graph. The Theoretical Approach to (Useful) Mechanical Work Done: Mechanical work done, can also be interpreted as the gain in total energy of the system, which in this case happens to be the potential energy of the state of the mass. The increase in the height of the mass (or apple) results in an increase in its state of potential energy, which is given by the following equation: Potential Energy = Mass x Gravitational Constant x Height Gain in Potential Energy = Mass x Gravitational Constant x Change in Height = Mass x Gravitational Constant x Displacement = Mechanical Work Done However, we have to bear in mind that this Calculation is prone to error as well. The displacement used in this equation is obtained from the displacement as observed in the P-s graph. The displacement is relatively inappropriate in a sense, with relation to this equation. When we plot the graph, we steer it in a way as to obtain the parallelogram so that it becomes simple to calculate the area under the graph. This is in fact, inaccurate, as the displacement will keep increasing, at a much slower rate, for a certain period, as the volume keeps expanding for that mentioned period. This means that if the apparatus is left alone for a while, the displacement will be larger, hence giving a different result when calculating the mechanical work done on the mass. We will have to bear this in mind when comparing the results later on, in the experiment.

Approximations: When we look at the graph, each spike (sharp increase or decrease in Pressure) that can be seen occurs as a result of adding or removing the masses on the platform. In theory, these spikes should be exactly linear, as the apple simply moves onto the platform and leaves it with little or no energy dissipation. However in the experiment, the masses were loaded onto and removed from the platform manually, by hand. Hence, there is some degree of inaccuracy there. There is also inaccuracy in the top portion of each spike as the air chamber is moved manually, by hand, from the cold reservoir to the hot one, and then the other way round. Human error is bound to be present in this case. Also, the graph has to be plotted with a sense of time . Since the graph is plotted for Pressure versus displacement, there is no way of monitoring the time for certain (there is only an acceleration component in pressure: (mass x acceleration / area). Instead, we have to add and remove the masses in a method so as to get the parallelogram we desire, so as to be able to calculate the work done in an easier fashion. Lastly, we can use the grid in the graph to calculate the area enclosed by the function. However, this is not accurate, but only approximate, as the function is hardly linear, making it very difficult to calculate manually; human error is bound bring about some degree of inaccuracy.

2) Tabulation of Calculations:

0.085 Kg

0.135 Kg

0.185 Kg

60 70 deg (maintained at 65 deg)

Work done (J) Mechanical Work Done (J) Work done (J) Mechanical Work Done (J)







80 90 deg (maintained at 85 deg)







Area of Piston = Pie x (0.01625m)sq Mass of Piston and Platform = 0.035Kg

Work done is the actual work done obtained from the area under the graph, and mechanical work done is the amount of work done, with respect to the displacement of the piston. As we can observe from the table there are slight variations in the values obtained from work done and mechanical work done. The values of the mechanical work done are all slightly higher, than the corresponding values for the work done.

3) Comparison of Work Done and Mechanical Work Done: I can think of only one root to the problem for the equation that gives us the mechanical work done. The gravitational constant in the equation is error free . The mass is also relatively error free , as the mass of the piston and the platform is already accurate to 0.001m, which is an amount which can be considered negligible in an experiment such as this. This leaves us with the displacement component. As mentioned before, this displacement is taken from the x-axis in the graph. The displacement, in some of the graphs, has been plotted such that we are able to obtain an area that is enclosed by the graph on all sides. This leads to some inaccuracy, in depicting the actual displacement, caused by the instantaneous change in volume of the gas, with respect to the variation in the pressure of the gas. There is, however, one way in which this equation can be more useful. The equation for mechanical work done, is NOT independent of the work done, obtained from the graph. This is because we are using the same displacement values from the graph. What could have been done instead was that we could have measured the change in the height of the piston manually. There will be human error of course, but it will also be independent of the values obtained from the graph, thereby making more room for better comparison.

4) Comparison of Work Done in Parts II & III: It is quite difficult to draw a parallel between the graphs for the two different sets of temperatures used. One reason is that the values obtained in the y-axis are almost identical. This is because the only factor that changes with respect to the y-axis is the mass. Therefore, the values obtained along the y-axis are similar, if not, identical. What makes the two graphs different is the volume obtained after the expansion. In both part II and III, we ensured that the piston was at the 20mm level before conducting the experiment. This was to ensure that there would be minimal error when comparing the change in volume later on. Therefore, the work done, as can be seen from the table above, is definitely larger for a higher temperature, while the rest of the variables were kept constant. The change in volume in the 85 Deg Celsius experiment was greater than the change in volume of the 65 Deg Celsius. This is simply because there was more energy (in the form of

thermal energy) applied to the system, therefore naturally, there was more work done on the mass acting on the system. There is however, another factor that can be taken into account, but this one cannot be seen from looking at the hardcopy of the paper. When the mass has just been placed on top of the platform, and the air chamber has been changed from the cold reservoir to the hot reservoir, the graph experiences and immediate spike and then moves of in the direction of the positive x-axis, indicating the expansion of the volume of the gas. The rate of expansion of volume of the gas (on the axis that shows us the displacement) is much higher in the experiment in part III then in part II. Both were ensured to have the same volume of air, but the expansion in the 85 Deg Celsius run was much faster than the expansion in the 65 Deg Celsius run. This means that when the program was plotting the graph, the movement in the positive x-direction was much faster in the run with the higher temperature. Information like this, which cannot be obtained from just looking at the graph (which has no definitive method of measuring time against volume or pressure) is actually both useful and important. If the gas were to expand faster when a higher temperature is applied on the system, this in turn implies that the platform rises faster as well; it will cover the same distance that the run with a lower temperature covers, in a much shorter time. In addition, it will also be able to cover a larger vertical distance, if required, as the volume in the run with the higher temperature is greater as well. This is important, because the run with the higher temperature will increase the rate of productivity, which will be pivotal in factory or manufacturing setting. The faster the mass is able to be displaced to the higher platform the faster the rate of productivity is.

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