Closed system
Encyclopedia

## In physics

In thermodynamics
Thermodynamics
Thermodynamics is a physical science that studies the effects on material bodies, and on radiation in regions of space, of transfer of heat and of work done on or by the bodies or radiation...

, a closed system can exchange energy (as heat
Heat
In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy transferred from one body, region, or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact or thermal radiation when the systems are at different temperatures. It is often described as one of the fundamental processes of energy transfer between...

or work
Mechanical work
In physics, work is a scalar quantity that can be described as the product of a force times the distance through which it acts, and it is called the work of the force. Only the component of a force in the direction of the movement of its point of application does work...

), but not matter
Matter
Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume...

, with its surroundings.
In contrast, an isolated system
Isolated system
In the natural sciences an isolated system, as contrasted with an open system, is a physical system without any external exchange. If it has any surroundings, it does not interact with them. It obeys in particular the first of the conservation laws: its total energy - mass stays constant...

cannot exchange any of heat, work, or matter with the surroundings, while an open system can exchange all of heat, work and matter.
For a simple system, with only one type of particle (atom or molecule), a closed system amounts to a constant number of particles. However, for systems which are undergoing a chemical reaction
Chemical equilibrium
In a chemical reaction, chemical equilibrium is the state in which the concentrations of the reactants and products have not yet changed with time. It occurs only in reversible reactions, and not in irreversible reactions. Usually, this state results when the forward reaction proceeds at the same...

, there may be all sorts of molecules being generated and destroyed by the reaction process. In this case, the fact that the system is closed is expressed by stating that the total number of each elemental atom is conserved, no matter what kind of molecule it may be a part of. Mathematically:

where is the number of j-type molecules, is the number of atoms of element i in molecule j and bi0 is the total number of atoms of element i in the system, which remains constant, since the system is closed. There will be one such equation for each different element in the system.

## In computing

In computing
Computing
Computing is usually defined as the activity of using and improving computer hardware and software. It is the computer-specific part of information technology...

a closed system refers to software which the specifications and detail of implementation (typically source code) are kept secret, as opposed to open source
Open-source software
Open-source software is computer software that is available in source code form: the source code and certain other rights normally reserved for copyright holders are provided under a software license that permits users to study, change, improve and at times also to distribute the software.Open...

systems.

• Glossary of systems theory
Glossary of systems theory
-A:* Adaptive capacity: An important part of the resilience of systems in the face of a perturbation, helping to minimise loss of function in individual human, and collective social and biological systems....

• Dynamical system
Dynamical system
A dynamical system is a concept in mathematics where a fixed rule describes the time dependence of a point in a geometrical space. Examples include the mathematical models that describe the swinging of a clock pendulum, the flow of water in a pipe, and the number of fish each springtime in a...

• Isolated system
Isolated system
In the natural sciences an isolated system, as contrasted with an open system, is a physical system without any external exchange. If it has any surroundings, it does not interact with them. It obeys in particular the first of the conservation laws: its total energy - mass stays constant...

• Open system (system theory)
Open system (system theory)
An open system is a system which continuously interacts with its environment. The interaction can take the form of information, energy, or material transfers into or out of the system boundary, depending on the discipline which defines the concept...

• Thermodynamic system
Thermodynamic system
A thermodynamic system is a precisely defined macroscopic region of the universe, often called a physical system, that is studied using the principles of thermodynamics....