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27
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
19
votes
0answers
507 views

Can Lee-Yang zeros theorem account for triple point phase transition?

Now the prominent Lee-Yang theorem (or Physical Review 87, 410, 1952) has almost become a standard ingredient of any comprehensive statistical mechanics textbook. If the volume tends to infinity, ...
17
votes
4answers
14k 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 (at the time of writing) starts by explaining that Ehrenfest's original definition ...
16
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
330 views

Ice cube left in water at 0 °C for a thousand years

Let's say we take an ideal calorimeter with a liter of water at +5 °C and throw a 5×5×5 cm cube of ice having temperature of –70 °C. I choose these initial parameters so that the stationary ...
14
votes
1answer
167 views

Phase Transition in the Ising Model with Non-Uniform Magnetic Field

Consider the Ferromagnetic Ising Model ($J>0$) on the lattice $\mathbb{Z}^2$ with the Hamiltonian with boundary condition $\omega\in\{-1,1\}$ formally given by $$ ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

How to freeze the Niagara waterfalls?

Here is a picture of the usual vigorous Niagara Falls (in the winter). Here is the picture of Niagara Falls frozen in 1933 (in the very cold winter). Here is the picture of Niagara Falls frozen in ...
13
votes
4answers
394 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
401 views

Does this type of phase transition exist?

The short version of this question is: Is there, or could there be, a system with a phase transition where adding a small amount of heat causes a discontinuous jump in its temperature? Below are ...
12
votes
2answers
374 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
6k views

How cold does it need to be for spit to freeze before hitting the ground?

What is the dominant form of heat transfer between warm water and cold air? If a $100 mg$ drop of water falls through $-40 C$ air, how quickly could it freeze? Is it credible that in very cold ...
10
votes
1answer
382 views

Is the liquid/solid line infinite?

Starting from the triple point, is the melting line between solid-phase and liquid-phase infinite? If not, why does it end? Because pressures are so high that classical inter-molecular interactions ...
10
votes
1answer
333 views

Phase transition water

The water-gas phase transition is said to be similar to the ferromagnetic-paramagnetic phase transition (same set of critical exponents = same universality class). In the former case the order ...
10
votes
1answer
754 views

Definition of phase transitions in statistical mechanics

Phase transitions in statistical mechanics are usually taught by working through a bunch of examples. I decided to try and think about them from a more "fundamental" point of view - but I've run into ...
9
votes
2answers
466 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)} ...
8
votes
2answers
313 views

What happens for the spins around the phase transition

Suppose we now consider a lattice of spin, say Ising model, and the phase transition at the critical temperature $T_c$. There are few scaling laws describe the regime around the critical temperature ...
8
votes
1answer
415 views

Strange behaviour of water drops on a heated pan

I did an experiment in my home and I was surprised by the results. I heated a pan without anything in it. After some time it became very hot and I took some water (2 drops) and put it into the pan. It ...
8
votes
5answers
228 views

Is there a definite boundary between a powder and a fluid?

Given a powder of solid substance what will happen if we make the granules smaller and smaller mechanically? Will this eventually make a liquid or gas from the powder? Can there be gaseous substanse ...
8
votes
2answers
589 views

Symmetry Breaking And Phase transition

Is every phase transition associated with a symmetry breaking? If yes, what is the symmetry that a gaseous phase have but the liquid phase does not? What is the extra symmetry that normal $\bf He$ ...
8
votes
1answer
79 views

Voyager 1 cosmic ray strips

In the last months Voyager 1 has experienced a dramatic drop in the cosmic ray radiation, which was been exceptionally uniform for the last 10 years, except for the past july 28 and august 14 events, ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

Finding two dimensional critical point

I'm reading an article about bi layered membranes which state that for the free energy function $f(\theta) = \theta \ln \theta + (1-\theta)\ln(1-\theta) + \chi \theta (1-\theta)$ Where $\phi_i$ is ...
8
votes
0answers
1k views

Griffiths phase

What are Griffiths effects in the context of condensed matter physics? From a cursory examination of the literature I've gathered the following: it seems that ordered systems have a "clean" critical ...
7
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
149 views

Why does hitting a cold bag of water freeze?

About 24 hours ago, I bought a box of 30 pieces water ice. I put them in the freezing compartment and when I came from work I was expecting a nice chilling ice. But when I opened the freezer, I saw ...
7
votes
1answer
645 views

Mean-field theory in 1D Ising model

A mean-field theory approach to the Ising-model gives a critical temperature $k_B T_C = q J$, where $q$ is the number of nearest neighbours and $J$ is the interaction in the Ising Hamiltonian. Setting ...
7
votes
1answer
305 views

Electric Field Change Freezing Temperature of Water?

I assume that the reason water freezes is because as you decrease the temperature, the kinetic energy of the water molecules decreases and the dipole bonding potential eventually over comes the escape ...
7
votes
3answers
352 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
480 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
2answers
197 views

Why do phase transitions even exist? Why not smooth density change curves?

Why do phase transitions even exist? Why not smooth density change curves? What properties of matter, quantum or otherwise, predicts that matter will undergo phases at different pressures and ...
6
votes
1answer
74 views

References for phase-transitions in supersymmetric field theory

Apart from other reasons, recently my interest in this area got piqued when I heard an awesome lecture by Seiberg on the idea of meta-stable-supersymmetry-breaking. I am looking for references on ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What causes a Phase-Transition?

A phase transition occurs when for example, heat is applied continuously to a liquid and after a certain time it converts into a gas. How does this process work in detail? Is their a chain reaction ...
6
votes
1answer
420 views

Thermal AdS and the Hawking Page phase transition

I have some difficulty understanding the concept of pure thermal radiation, as described in Hawking and Page's paper on the Hawking-Page phase transition. The four-dimensional thermal AdS solution ...
6
votes
1answer
99 views

Temperature of a phase transition

A solid can exist in two phases, with energies $$U_{1}(S,V)=\frac{S^2}{a_1}+b_{1}V(V-2V_{0})$$ $$U_{2}(S,V)=\frac{S^2}{a_2}+b_{2}V(V-2V_{0})$$ where $a_{1},a_{2},b_{1},b_{2},V_{0}$ are positive ...
6
votes
1answer
287 views

Goldstone mode in O(N) (non-linear $\sigma$ model)

The question is does the Non-linear $\sigma$ model have a Goldstone mode? Consider a $O(N)$ mode for which the Hamiltonian is $H=J\sum_{i,j}\vec{n}_i \cdot \vec{n}_j$, where ...
6
votes
0answers
202 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
2answers
492 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?
5
votes
1answer
184 views

Phase diagram of simplified QCD

Consider QCD with a single generation of massless quarks (u, d). This is probably the simplest variant of QCD which bears some relation to the real world. The theory has the following exact global ...
5
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Do we have a fundamental Hamiltonian for the system of H$_2$O molecules?

From the quantum mechanics(QM) viewpoint, does there exist a Hamiltonian $H$ for the system of H$_2$O molecules? Assume that the number of H$_2$O molecules is fixed. Imagine that by calculating the ...
5
votes
1answer
130 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
210 views

Is it possible to determine the universality class of phase transitions by just analysing symmetry?

Since phase transition is closely connected with symmetry, I am wondering whether it is possible to determine the universality class of phase transitions just by symmetry? Actually, I found it is ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

Is there any model in statistical physics which has the ratio of specific heat exponent to correlation length exponent, $\alpha/\nu \approx 2.44$?

I am simulating a disordered ising-like model in 2d whose phase transition is expected to be continuous, whose universality class is as yet unknown. By plotting the Specific heat scaling function, ...
5
votes
2answers
453 views

Any example of lower symmetry in high temperature phase than the low temperature phase?

All the phase transition cases I came across so far have this property: the lower temperature phase has lower symmetry than the higher temperature one. But it is nowhere explicitly said that, lower ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

Order of magnetic phase transitions

Is there any phase transition occur in paramagnetism to diamagnetism transitions state. What should be the order and how will I calculate the order?
5
votes
2answers
142 views

Simple estimation of the critical temperature of water

I'm trying to develop fermi estimation skills and I came up with a question for which I don't even know where to start from. Here goes: Is it possible to estimate the critical temperature (say in ...
5
votes
0answers
143 views

Is there a way to obtain an RG flow equation for Quantum spin systems using MERA

We restrict ourselves to ground states of translationally invariant 1d quantum systems. I understand that there is the scale invariant MERA(multiscale entanglement renormalization ansatz) which ...
5
votes
0answers
181 views

Could sphaleron-induced proton decay also cause vacuum decay?

I will say right away that I don't mean standard-model sphalerons, I mean the sphalerons of some extension of the standard model. The reason to even think about this is last year's paper by Frampton ...
4
votes
3answers
433 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: ...
4
votes
2answers
89 views

Is there a phase transition for degenerate matter?

Does electron or neutron degenerate matter undergo a phase transition? Are there any thermodynamic quantities that are discontinuous?