Mechanically isolated system

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In thermodynamics, a mechanically isolated system is a system that is mechanically constraint to disallow deformations, so that it cannot perform any work on its environment. It also does not permit any mass flows in or out of the system. It may however, exchange heat across the system boundary.

For a simple system, mechanical isolation is equivalent to a state of constant volume and any process which occurs in such a simple system is said to be isochoric. [1]

The opposite of a mechanically isolated system is a mechanically open system,[citation needed] which allows the transfer of mechanical energy. For a simple system, a mechanically open boundary is one that is allowed to move under pressure differences between the two sides of the boundary. At mechanical equilibrium, the pressures on both sides of a mechanically open boundary are equal, but only a mechanically isolating boundary can support pressure differences.

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  1. ^ Guha, Evelyn (2000). Basic Thermodynamics. Alpha Science Int'l Ltd. p. 150. ISBN 9781842650004. Retrieved 2012-12-11.