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# Differentiate between reversible and irreversible process.

Last updated date: 22nd Mar 2024
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Hint: We have to find the difference between the reversible process and irreversible process. For finding the difference between two quantities, always start with making a table and write at least \$5\$ differences between two quantities. A table is easy to understand and compares the facts between two or more than two quantities.

 Reversible process Irreversible process (1) It is a slow process which goes through various smaller stages which maintains equilibrium between the system and the surroundings. (1) It is a comparatively fast process. Here, no equilibrium is maintained between the system and the surroundings. (2) Reversible processes can take place either in forward direction or in backward direction. (2) Irreversible processes can take place only in one direction. (3) Reversible process proceeds in smaller steps because the driving force is small. (3) Irreversible process proceeds in larger steps in comparison with reversible process because there is definite driving force required for the progress of the process. (4) Work done in a reversible process is greater than the work done in an irreversible process. (4) Work done in an irreversible process is always lower than the work done in an irreversible process. (5) A reversible process can be brought back to the initial state without making any change in the surroundings. (5) An irreversible process cannot be brought back to its initial state without making a change in the surroundings.

Note: As the name suggests, reversible process is the process which can be brought back to the initial process or the process which is reversible. For example: Expansion and compression of spring.
Irreversible process is the process which cannot be brought back to its initial state or the process which is not reversible. For example: A hot cup of tea left on its own to cool down.