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39
votes
7answers
34k views

How can two seas not mix?

How can two seas not mix? I think this is commonly known and the explanation everyone gives is "because they have different densities". What I get is that they eventually will mix, but this process ...
4
votes
3answers
323 views

Guessing what a simple partial differential equation is describing physically

Is there an easy way to look at a partial different equation and get a sense of what kind of phenomena it is physically describing? I have an equation that looks like this: ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

Show that the boundary layers diffuse out from the plate with speed $\sqrt{\frac{\nu}{t}}$ [closed]

I was wondering if somebody would be able to help me with this problem. I know how to solve it using dimension arguments but I'm unsure what is meant by transformation techniques. Any help would be ...
1
vote
3answers
961 views

Schrödinger equation derivation and Diffusion equation

I am aware of the debate on whether Schrödinger equation was derived or motivated. However, I have not seen this one that I describe below. Wonder if it could be relevant. If not historically but for ...
158
votes
3answers
43k views

Surviving under water in air bubble

An incredible news story today is about a man who survived for two days at the bottom of the sea (~30 m deep) in a capsized boat, in an air bubble that formed in a corner of the boat. He was ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Collision time of Brownian particles

Let's assume two spherical particles $p_1$ and $p_2$ of finite radius $r_1$ and $r_2$, which are at locations $(\pm\frac{d}{2},0,0)$ a distance $d$ apart at initial time $t$. These particles diffuse ...
7
votes
1answer
717 views

How fast will sublimed dry ice mix with air?

I saw this photo and wondered: Will the CO2 stay mostly in a layer on the floor with the rest of the atmosphere resting on top, or will it quickly diffuse throughout the room? This lab is probably ...
5
votes
1answer
497 views

Why is it difficult to mix helium and nitrogen gases?

I recently learned an interesting fact: That it's difficult to mix helium and nitrogen gases in a compressed gas cylinder. Gas suppliers that need to mix the two gases have to rotate the cylinders for ...
2
votes
2answers
338 views

Existence of gusts of wind, an anomaly?

Enthusiast + Student, not a pro, so pardon my ignorance. How can wind possibly flow in gusts? The way I understand it, a gust is a pocket of air which hits you at slightly higher speed. But how ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

Why is it valid to assume that the liquid-vapour interface is always saturated during evaporation?

For steady state evaporation, I read from two textbooks which simply states that the partial pressure of vapour of interest (say water) at the liquid-vapour interface is equal to the saturation ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Gillespie's stochastic framework valid for particles in aqueous solution?

Gillespie proposed a stochastic framework for simulating chemical reactions which is predicated on non-reactive elastic collisions serving to 'uniformize' particle position so that the assumption of ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

Characteristic length for the diffusion equation (temperature)

The background: I'm doing some simulation work involving the diffusion equation in 1D. Specifically I have some temperature profile, constant thermal conductivity and fixed temperature at each end of ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Do particle velocities in liquid follow the Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution?

The Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution arises from non-reactive elastic collisions of particles and is usually discussed in the context of the kinetic theory (for gases). There are various ...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

What is the difference between the diffusion equation and the heat equation?

I know that the diffusion equation is a more general version of the heat equation. But what is the exact difference informally?
2
votes
3answers
596 views

Finite difference formulation of the heat equation with thermal conductivity in 1D

This may seem trivial, but I'm having some trouble deriving the finite difference form of the heat equation with a thermal conductivity function $a(x)$ depending on $x$: $$\frac{\partial u(x, ...
1
vote
1answer
501 views

How does air escape from a pneumatic tire?

Obviously, it is caused by the difference in pressure between the inside of the tire and its surrounding environment; but how specifically is the air escaping?
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Does nature really follow the heat equation?

I think the heat equation says that the first derivative of temperature with respect to time in a stationary solid varies as the negative of the second derivative of temperature with respect to ...
0
votes
0answers
225 views

Temperature dependence for specific thermal diffusivity in the diffusion formula

I recently found this answer about the diffusion equation (nice one actually), but have one doubt about the temperature dependence of this formula. If the "packet" of energy (terminology suggested ...