Covers the study of (mostly homogeneous) macroscopic systems from a heat/energy/entropy point of view. Maybe combine with [tag:statistical-mechanics].

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Can statistical mechanics explain the second law completely?

Statistical mechanics is restricted to the postulate of the equal a priori probability, but this postulate does not need to be considered for thermodynamics, so the valid ranges of statistical ...
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Derivation of Van der Waal's Equation from Helmholtz Free Energy

From the following equation $$ f(T,v) = f_{id}(T,v) - RT \ln\bigg(1-\frac{b}{v}\bigg)-\frac{a}{v}$$ how do I derive Van der Waal's equation. In the equation above, $f$ and $f_{id}$ are the Helmholtz ...
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28 views

Thermal Velocity

What is thermal velocity? What is it's physical significance? Wikipedia says: The thermal velocity or thermal speed is a typical velocity of the thermal motion of particles which make up a gas, ...
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12 views

How to calculate average temperature of Nichrome 80 resistance wire? [on hold]

I know the following: I need the resistance wire to hold a temperature of 400C with a steady current The resistance wire is 1cm in length I have a 1500 mAh battery with 3.2V available What gauge ...
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33 views

How fast do molecules move in objects?

I guess it depends on the heat or the type of the material but can you give some examples or formulas to calculate it ? The best example would be the average speed of the air molecules (all types in ...
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52 views

Philosophical thoughts on Reconciling Different Relativity and Quantum—Motivation behind String Theory [on hold]

I always like to reason through the motivation behind equations, and during this process I began thinking about Wigner's 'unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics', and whether it can sometimes lead ...
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24 views

Macro-Level Explanation of Fluid Heat Transfer

Here's something I've been struggling with for a while. Say you have a hot fluid and cold surface (or the reverse, so long as there is a temperature difference) where the fluid flows over the ...
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108 views

How do heated showers/faucets work? [on hold]

I'm not sure if this question is for Physics SE, but I'd go ahead and ask. I was wondering how the heated showers work (the ones with the hot and cold knobs). I have always been curious and this may ...
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Energy comparison, evaporate water vs compress air, same mass

I would like to compare the energy requirements of the 2 following tasks: Total energy to evaporate 1 litre of water at normal atmospheric pressure at normal temperature? Total energy to compress ...
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136 views

Why is Entropy's Definition Useful?

I have somewhat of an understanding for other physical quantities, but as far as entropy goes I only know it to be "disorder". Why is the change in entropy formula an appropriate/useful definition, ...
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51 views

conducting heat to infinity

I am modeling a situation in which an object that is a small object that is spherical in shape is receiving heat at a constant rate and then conducting it away into a medium that can be model as ...
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27 views

How many state configurations are possible for $N$ particles in completely different states?

How many state configurations are possible for $N$ particles in completely different states? I cannot remember if the total number of state configurations for $N$ particles in completely different ...
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22 views

Do the characteristic vibrational modes of a material define how much will a material heat up upon radiation excitation?

Do, and if yes how, does the intensity and energy of the Raman modes of a material make it to heat more by radiation excitation. I see phonons and vibrations of the lattice as heat, but maybe I'm ...
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P-N junction voltage under polarization

All the books that deal with the p-n junction under applied bias asume that the same equations used for the equilibrium case (no bias) can be used for the biased case provided that the juntcion ...
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59 views

Radiation emission and absorption

Any object can emit and absorb radiation and the power of emission can be represented by the Stefan-Boltzmann law: $$P=A\epsilon\sigma T^4$$ In many texts the net power radiated is the difference ...
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Electrochemical cell potential - Prigogine book

I'm trying to understand equation 10.2.14 from Prigogine book "Moder thermodynamics": $V=\frac{\tilde{A}}{nF}=\frac{1}{nF}\left(\mu_X^R+\mu_Y^L-\mu_{Xred}^R-\mu_{Yox}^L\right) - \left( \phi^R-\phi^L ...
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39 views

Gas pressure and centrifugal force

I think about a rotating torus (simplified tire) filled with ideal gas. Mass of gas is $m$ and molar mass is $M$. Pressure in non rotating torus is $p_0$. Temperature is constant $T$. Inner radius of ...
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56 views

Convective heat transfer coeficient equation

I am attempting to model a situation, in which a sphere of some material of identifiable thermal properties is receiving heat at a constant rate. And that material is coming into equilibrium with the ...
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92 views

Where is the potential energy due to internal interactions in total energy?

In thermodynamics the total energy of a system consists of kinetic energy of motion of the system as a whole, potential energy of the system as a whole due to external force fields, and energy ...
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Heat engine efficiency, compression ratio vs temperatures

I want to understand the role or even existence of a cold reservoir in the Otto cycle gasoline engine. The efficiency of the Otto engine is given as a function of compression ratio $$ ...
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105 views

Why does blowing on hot coffee cool it down?

And will it cool off faster if you blow across the top of the cup or directly into the coffee? Does it have to do with the fact that when you blow across the top of the cup the velocity of the air ...
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41 views

Confusion on entropy in the universe [closed]

I was researching about the heat-death of the universe, and I was wondering if my understanding of it so far is factual to the theory? However, the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics prevents the universe’s ...
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3answers
73 views

Is thermodynamic free energy and potential energy the same thing?

The equation for free energy $F$ and potential energy $E_{pot}$ are: $$ F=U-TS \\ E_{pot} = E_{tot} -E_{kin} $$ But the temperature $T$ is proportional to the average kinetic energy of a system. So ...
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Ergodic Hypothesis; canonical ensemble

I'm currently studying for an exam in thermodynamics/classic statistical mechanics and 2 things came up which are confusing me. First the ergodic hypothesis states that it is equal to take the mean ...
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155 views

What conditions do a bunch of atoms need to satisfy to have a temperature?

What conditions do a bunch of atoms need to satisfy to have a temperature? Suppose that we have a beam of helium atoms travelling in a common straight line, equally spaced with the same velocity. If ...
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3answers
221 views

Mathematical proof of the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Is there some book or paper that formalizes statistical mechanics, like some people have done with relativity, and proves the second law of thermodynamics from more foundational axioms?
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288 views

Do objects gain and lose heat at the same rate?

For example, if I take an item out of the refrigerator, set it on the counter for a period of time, allow it to warm up a bit (but not so long that it reaches room temperature and stabilizes), and ...
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Does a cooler, submerged in water, keep beer colder, longer?

Looking around the web, I see some submerged bucket-like things, without insulation, and some floating coolers, where the actual cooler is not submerged. Given that your water temperature is lower ...
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37 views

Why doesn't the entropy of an isolated system of ideal gas change during isothermal compression/expansion?

Even if the system is isolated and there is no heat exchange with surroundings, shouldn't the decrease/increase of pressure result in increase/decrease of entropy ??? Does this property of an ...
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79 views

Boltzmann Distribution of Electrons in Confining Potential

I have a particle simulation wherein many non-interacting electrons are trapped in a electric potential well. I would expect, and therefore I initialize according to this, that the electrons would ...
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29 views

SInce heat is a vibration in solids, isn't it just small scale sound? [duplicate]

On an atomic scale I think of electrons hitting positive ions in an electric lattice. Most energy there is heat energy. If I think of ball bearings flying through a large lattice, I think sound is ...
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1answer
71 views

Is this theory about Universe information true?

I recently saw this video about information and randomness. At some point, it states that a completely predictable universe would infringe the second law of thermodynamics, because it would imply that ...
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Canonical ensemble, energy, heat bath

I am studying through the book Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics by Walter Greiner and I’ve got a couple of doubts when I was reading about the classical ensembles, specially the Canonical ...
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Laws of Thermodynamics [duplicate]

According to the laws of thermodynamics (specifically the first law, law of conservation of energy), energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be redistributed and changed from one form to ...
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paradoxical results in different applications of the 2nd law of thermodynamics

Assume two closed systems adjacent to each other together forming one adiabatic system. Both systems are assumed to have their volumes fixed and can therefore communicate with each other through heat ...
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On Thermodynamics of Spontaneity of the Reduction-Oxidation Chemical Reactions

According to the first and second law for a closed system containing different chemicals we have \begin{align} &\delta Q - \delta W = dU = T dS - p dV +\sum_i \mu_i d N_i\\ ...
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Thermal expansion coefficient times temperature: under which condition is it unity?

In Landau's Fluid Mechanics p. 8 (2nd edition) he writes for the thermal expansion coefficient $\beta = (1/V) (\partial V/\partial T)_P$: For a column of gas in equilibrium which can be taken as a ...
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2answers
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Most ideal Black-body! [duplicate]

According to the definition of Black-body, it absorbs all of the wavelength irradiates on it. A recent material absorbs 96.4% visible light rays. Therefore , can we say that it is the most closest ...
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685 views

The effect of A/C and global warming

I had been thinking about the way an air conditioning system moves heat from one place to another. The unit runs and drops the temp. in the building and raises the temp. outside. Also there is ...
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2answers
70 views

Evaporative cooling in a tropical environment

I am an architect and am trying to understand the effects of evaporative cooling in a humid climate for buildings. I would like to use the example of a zeer pot for my question. I have read ...
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45 views

Problems with units of entropy in statistical thermodynamics

The statistical thermodynamics definition of entropy: $S = kN \ln (W)$ troubles me a lot with the problem of dimenstions. where $S$ is entropy; $k$, the Boltzmann constant; $N$ the number of particles ...
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Modeling an Adiabatic Expansion (EES)

How would one model an isentropic (reversible) adiabatic expansion using thermodynamic software in order to determine isentropic work? What I am looking for is an actual pressure-volume curve for the ...
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433 views

Why does a short circuit generate fire?

When a short circuit occurs it's obvious that there is fire. How come electric energy turns out to be heat energy? What causes the conductors to get hot when short circuit is present.
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2answers
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Any difference between thermodynamic double-derivative and derivative “at constant” value?

Reading about the Maxwell relations has left me confused, and I want a basic sanity check regarding the notation. The Wikipedia article breezes over the following switch of notation without really ...
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What is the deepest cause of the such high specific heat capacity of water?

Yes, I know about the hydrogen bridges. But I think, it isn't the deepest cause. Anyway, they are only second-order bindings, although quite strong. I think, somehow should have the water a ...
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2answers
94 views

Heat loss using alternating current

I am looking for somebody who can explain this to me. As I have read in physics books, the Joule-Lenz Law (Joule effect of heating) is represented by the formula: $$ W = I^2Rt $$ which can be ...
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1answer
44 views

About state function [duplicate]

As I undersand in thermodynamics, a gas with an equation of state $f(V,T,p)=0$ will need only 2 variables (e.g $V$ and $p$) to determine its state. Regarding this question: I still don't ...
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At what temperature does air become liquid at a pressure of X bar?

... with X = 6 in my particular case. I was trying to get a phase diagram for air, only got one for nitrogen and was slightly puzzled. Here's why: I was wondering about a particular detail in ...
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I still don't understand how a gas with an equation of state f(T,p,V)=0 can change if 2 state functions are fixed?

Just like classical potential, it's stated that equilibrium is obtained when the corresponding thermodynamics potential reaches the minimum. Explicitly, according to Wikipedia, in particular: ...
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3answers
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Existence of negative temperatures and the definition of entropy

How negative temperatures can be possible has been treated on StackExchange before (several times in fact), but in light of some recent academic discussion, most of these answers seem to be possibly ...