Open System Definition in Chemistry

What is an open system in science?

Energy transfer in a car is an example of an open system
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In science, an open system is a system that can freely exchange matter and energy with its surroundings. An open system may appear to violate conservation laws because it can gain or lose matter and energy.

Open System Example

A good example of an open system is energy transfer in an automobile. Chemical energy in​ the fuel is converted into mechanical energy. Heat is lost to the surroundings, to it may appear matter and energy are not conserved.

A system such as this, which loses heat or other energy to its surroundings, is also known as a dissipative system.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Open System Definition in Chemistry." ThoughtCo, Feb. 6, 2018, thoughtco.com/definition-of-open-system-in-chemistry-605441. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2018, February 6). Open System Definition in Chemistry. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-open-system-in-chemistry-605441 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Open System Definition in Chemistry." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-open-system-in-chemistry-605441 (accessed May 22, 2018).