In thermodynamics, PV work is a shorthand term for pressure volume work or work associated with volume change.

The concept of pressure volume work originated from the invention of the indicator by James watt in 1790, followed by the invention of the indicator diagram by John Southern, Watt's employee, in 1796, followed by an exposition of the mathematical details of indicator diagrams, otherwise known as PV diagrams, by French physicist Emile Clapeyron in 1834.

In 1857, German physicist Rudolf Clausius, in his paper on the kinetic theory of gases, derived a formula for product of the pressure and volume of a body of gas as follows:

 PV = \frac{1}{3} Nmu^2 \,

where N is the number of molecules (particles), m the mass of each molecule, and u the mean velocity of each particle. [1]

The term PV diagram, used as early as 1903, seems to predate the term PV work, in common usage, by about fifty years. American chemist Frederick Rossini, for example, was using the term "PV work" commonly in his 1950 Chemical Thermodynamics.

See also
PV = k
PV = nRT
dW = PdV

1. Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume One) (pg. 290). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.

External links
PV work –
PV work –

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