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A Dictionary of Energy Science

Nick Jelley


Relating to a process in which there is no heat transfer between the system and its surroundings. It is an idealization, but often a useful simplifying assumption to make when modelling a process. For example, when air is compressed in the cylinder of a diesel engine, the compression is so rapid that very little heat is transferred to the cylinder wall, and so it is a good approximation to take the compression as adiabatic.