Closed System Definition (Science)

What Is a Closed System in Thermodynamics?

A closed system doesn't allow certain types of transfer. For example, a closed jar doesn't allow mass transfer.
A closed system doesn't allow certain types of transfer. For example, a closed jar doesn't allow mass transfer. Image by Catherine MacBride / Getty Images

A closed system is a concept used in thermodynamics (physics and engineering) and in chemistry.

Closed System Definition

A closed system is a type of thermodynamic system where mass is conserved within the boundaries of the system, but energy is allowed to freely enter or exit the system.

In chemistry, a closed system is one in which neither reactants nor products can enter or escape, yet which allows energy transfer (heat and light).

A closed system may be used for experiments where temperature isn't a factor.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Closed System Definition (Science)." ThoughtCo, Dec. 9, 2017, thoughtco.com/definition-of-closed-system-604929. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, December 9). Closed System Definition (Science). Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-closed-system-604929 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Closed System Definition (Science)." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-closed-system-604929 (accessed May 24, 2018).