What Does Closed System Mean in the Natural Sciences?


Quick Answer

In the natural or hard sciences, a closed system is one that does not interact with others. There are also open and isolated systems.

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Full Answer

An example of a closed system is a balloon that is heated so that the gas inside makes it expand. This is a closed system because there is no exchange of matter; just the effect of the heat (energy) on the balloon. Another example would be a piston that responds to changes in heat.

By way of contrast, an open system involves the exchange of both matter and energy. Performing a titration, or using a known solution to determine the matter of an unknown solution, is an example of an open system with the beaker serving as the system.

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