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35
votes
2answers
13k views

Why is boiling water loud, then quiet?

Water in my electric kettle makes the most noise sixty to ninety seconds before the water comes to a full boil. I have been fooled many times by the noisy kettle, only to discover that the water was ...
7
votes
5answers
699 views

How to understand singularities in physics?

The question is probably two-folded and I will try not to make it too vague, but nonetheless the question remains general. First fold: In most physical laws, that we have analytic mathematical ...
6
votes
3answers
769 views

Solidification by the application of heat

When you add heat to a liquid (or a fluid), can it be solidified? If not, why in the world does an egg's stuffs become solid (or at least no more a liquid) when you 'boil' it in water?
9
votes
2answers
568 views

Could spontaneous symmetry breaking happen again in our universe?

It is generally believed that $10^{-35}$ seconds after the Big Bang, the symmetry of a GUT was broken and after $10^{-12}$ seconds the electroweak force was broken: \begin{equation} \mathrm{SU(2)} \...
20
votes
3answers
8k views

Why is there more steam after a pot of water *stops* boiling?

I have a pot of vigorously boiling water on a gas stove. There's some steam, but not alot. When I turn off the gas, the boiling immediately subsides, and a huge waft of steam comes out. This is ...
13
votes
4answers
415 views

Discontinuities and nondifferentiability in thermodynamics

In physics and engineering sources, calculus-based formalisms - whether differential forms on a manifold, or "differentials" of functions of several variables - are presented as a way of modeling and ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

What is heat and how does it effect an atom?

What happens in the atom when it gets heated or cooled and turns into gas, liquid or solid? I just want to know how does heat affect an atom.
3
votes
1answer
708 views

Flory-Huggins ternary phase diagram with a neutral component

I am searching the literature for the Flory-Huggins phase diagram with the following components : polymer, solvent, and a third component that does not interact with the other components (just entropy ...
13
votes
2answers
650 views

Do all phases of ice look the same visually?

I recently read about different phases of ice on Wikipedia. But I can't find any pictures of the different ice phases. Do they all look alike visually? If you weren't able to measure the pressure and ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

What happens if you try to freeze water in an water tight container

If I have a container that is full of water and I attempt to freeze the water by freezing the container, what would happen if the container is strong enough to prevent the water expansion? Could the ...
2
votes
2answers
741 views

Why does a substance expands upon freezing? What conditions necessitate this?

Why does a substance expands upon freezing? What conditions necessitate this? For example, how does the slope of sublimation or fusion curve in a P-T diagram affect this?
77
votes
9answers
14k views

Why does matter exist in 3 states (liquids, solid, gas)?

Why does matter on the earth exist in three states? Why cannot all matter exist in only one state (i.e. solid/liquid/gas)?
30
votes
3answers
27k views

First and second order phase transitions

Recently I've been puzzling over the definitions of first and second order phase transitions. The Wikipedia article starts by explaining that Ehrenfest's original definition was that a first-order ...
15
votes
3answers
859 views

Why would different metals glow red at different temperatures?

According to everything I've been taught about incandescence and black-body radiation, and some quick Googling to confirm I'm not crazy, just about everything, regardless of composition, should start ...
8
votes
3answers
499 views

Why does ice melts, waits for 100 degrees and THEN vaporises? Why is not the process of expansion of things continuous?

What I am asking is this: Why can't a body be solid, then solid-ish, then solid-like, then liquid-like, then liquid-ish, then liquid, then vapor-like and then vapor? Why is there a rigid temperature ...
9
votes
4answers
306 views

What is the real cause of the boiling (forming of bubbles) of water?

I've got a question about the boiling of water. I'm a first year physics student and from the Netherlands. I've searched alot about the boiling of water and this confused me. Everyone said something ...
8
votes
1answer
274 views

What is the relation between the representation the Higgs field transforms under, the types of couplings in the theory and Higgs/Coulomb branches?

When reading about Higgs and Coulomb 'phases' I came across two separate definitions: The first tells us that the Higgs/Coulomb phases are determined by the representation that the Higgs field ...
5
votes
1answer
328 views

Why doesn't topological phase transition break any symmetry? Hidden symmetry?

This question may be superficial. However why all people saying this without a proof? Just like the "hidden variables" assumption in quantum mechanics, can one disproof that there is no hidden ...
5
votes
4answers
839 views

Where can I find a good classification for phase transitions?

I'm having a hard time to find a good (and modern) classification scheme for phase transitions and related universality classes. Can someone recommend a paper/book/site? Detailed mathematical aspects ...
4
votes
1answer
315 views

How does the notion of topological order relate to the Landau-Ginzburg theory of phase transitions?

As per Landau-Ginzburg (LG) theory, we write down a theory (Hamiltonian) with all possible interactions/operators (in terms of some order parameter) that respects certain symmetries. The ground state (...
10
votes
1answer
955 views

What leads to the existence of critical temperature?

We know that $T_c$ is the temperature above which no amount of pressure could force a gas to liquefy. But why is this? Somehow I don't buy the point that the gas molecules exert too much pressure ...
4
votes
3answers
495 views

How many particles is needed to observe a phase transition?

This is a question that was rised when we were discussing "what is melting actually". How many particles you need to form a liquid or solid. I have some remarks to point out what I want to know. Q: ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the definition of correlation length for the Ising model?

The correlation length $\xi$ is related to critical temperature $T_c$ as $$ \xi\sim|T-T_{c}|{}^{-\nu}, $$ where $\nu$ is the critical exponent. Is this the formal definition of correlation length?...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there a phase transition between a gas and plasma?

Does a phase transition occur as a gas is heated to create a plasma? If so, is this a first or second order phase transition? Also, does the presence of a phase transition depend on the pressure or ...
5
votes
1answer
163 views

How close to the critical point is sufficient close for measuring critical exponents?

I am learning Monte Carlo and just manage to simulate a phase transition by computing the heat capacity or the susceptibility. I wish I can also compute critical exponents.To this purpose, I have read ...
4
votes
2answers
499 views

Continuous phase transition only hold for infinite systems. Real systems are finite, hence, a paradox

Second-order or continuous transitions are usually identified with non-analyticies within the free energy (which is proportional to the logarithm of the sum of exponentials). Such singularities are ...
3
votes
2answers
746 views

Order of phase transitions

I got to read things like In case of a first order phase transition, the volume and temperature change in a discontinuous manner. However for phase transitions of higher order the change in ...
2
votes
1answer
9k views

Phase diagram for oxygen

Do you know where can I find simple diagram (solid, liquid, gas) for for oxygen? EDIT: I made a mistake. I wanted oxygen instead of water. sorry.
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What happens to water level when ice XII melts?

There exists this famous idea that if all floating icebergs melt, water level will stay the same (because the water replaced by ice is the volume of the melted ice). Now, Is this always so, if you ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Cosmic bubble collision

I'm reading this review right now. The claim seems to be that when you have an expanding "false vacuum", finite size bubbles form due to phase transition (cause by finite action instantons) (which, in ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

The thermodynamics of heating water in a rigid container

When the pressure on the liquid surface is less than the vapor pressure of the liquid at a given temperature, the liquid will start to evaporate. This is common sense. The problem is more difficult ...
1
vote
1answer
155 views

What is the 'super' parameter of superconductivity and what is the role of Cooper pair?

Only thing I know about superconductors is that here the electrical current face zero resistance. My first question is what is 'super' (physical or mathematical entity) about a superconductor. Or more ...
1
vote
1answer
237 views

What kind of phases nanoparticles have (gas-solid-liquid)?

If a phase transition requires a number of particles that is in the TD-limit, can nanoparticles (~10 atoms) have phase transitions? What kind of phases and transitions nanoparticles have?
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Why does the stiffness of organic polymers (plastic) change so much with small changes in temperature?

This is on the borderline between Physics and Chemistry, but I would like a Physics perspective. I am guessing that plastics are a glass-like phase, rather than a true solid.