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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Questions on Carnot's theorem

This article on Carnot's theorem states that All heat engines between two heat reservoirs are less efficient than a Carnot heat engine operating between the same reservoirs. However, it only ...
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1answer
22 views

Adiabatic cooling in a closed system

Please forgive me ahead of time if something I say isn't correct, I've just started to read about thermodynamics ever since I developed a fascination for the anti-griddle (by the way does anyone know ...
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25 views

What is the maximum level of heat that can be reached? [duplicate]

Heating is what everyone knows about . But does it have any limits . How much hot can anything become?
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Does work done require interaction between system and surrounding?

There's no work done for a person climbing upstairs because the energy is converted to PE within system only. The person is the system. How true is the above statement?
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38 views

Thermodynamics problem

If water is heated between 273 K and 277 K by providing it heat, a part of heat is used to increase the internal energy of water and rest is done as work. But water's volume decreases between the ...
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2answers
50 views

Loss of temperature of a sphere [closed]

I am trying to get an intuition of whether it theoretically seems possible for a living cell (a yeast for example) to regulate its own temperature. Let's consider a spherical living cell which radius ...
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Heat from opposing mirrors

Is it possible to increase the amount of heat drawn from one mirror pointed to the sun by another mirror opposed to it?
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Is there a local canonical ensemble partition function for a Bose-Einstein gas?

The grand canonical partition function for a Bose-Einstein gas is $$ Z_{\text{grand bos}} = \exp \left( \sum_{j=0}^{\infty} -\ln \left( 1-e^{\beta(\mu-\epsilon_j)} \right)g_j \right) $$ where $\beta$ ...
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Calculating stable orbital resonance and other factors into orbits

Firstly here is a brief summary of what I trying to accomplish. From a predetermined total solar system mass , star count in that system, per-star classification and mass I am building a system of ...
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1answer
84 views

How does the hot cup of tea cool down? [duplicate]

I am not sure about my answer. I think that the cup of tea cools down by the following modes: Radiation between the surface of the tea and the air molecules. Conduction between the tea and the cup ...
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1answer
101 views

Pressure and Temperature in a few-body system

This question is very much related to this other one, and the introduction is the same. If we want to define intensive properties for few-body systems it is not straightforward. I am referring ...
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Non-extensivity in a few body system

Thermodynamics finds application in many areas of physics, many of them sharing the feature of fluid-like or many-body like behavior. However, small systems or few body systems have been studied too ...
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Niagara Falls mist

I am at Niagara Falls and noticed that the mist increased significantly at night and in the early morning. I guess it is acting like a cooling tower. Why is this happening?
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Is heat supposed to bounce on an insulator or slowly go through it?

I have a simple flat electric heater at home, fixed on a wall. 50% of the energy is absorbed by the wall !! What would happen if I put some isolation material between the heater and the wall ? Would ...
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1answer
46 views

How is pressure an intensive coordinate?

Most textbooks explain intensive coordinates by asking us to consider a system and divide it into two parts. The properties which remain the same will be called intensive and the properties that ...
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35 views

Specific heat capacity at constant volume VS constant pressure

For an ideal gas, why is the specific heat capacity at constant volume lower than the specific heat capacity at constant pressure?
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1answer
45 views

Traveling Back in Time at the End of the Universe [closed]

I apologize if this question may seem fantastical. Since the heat death of universe is said to be inevitable, is it possible to travel back in time to a younger universe when the time comes? Is that ...
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42 views

What are some surprisingly insightful predictions of classical thermodynamics? [closed]

Classical thermodynamics starts from the simplest of postulates. For instance, if you read through the first chapter of Callen's Thermodynamics, you get the impression the author has done little more ...
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can I maintain the temperature of a metal by electrifying it [on hold]

Let's say we have a metal that is exposed to high temperatures. This will increase the oscillation of its molecules. Is there a way by applying electrical current to it, to restrict these ...
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3answers
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The thermal expansion of material

The question is that: they drill a hole in the middle of a metal. Then when this metal is heated, will the hole become larger or smaller? The hole will get bigger, by experiment, but I think that when ...
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Singular isothermal density distribution

Does anyone know where the Singular isothermal density distribution $$ \rho(r)=\frac{\sigma_{V}^{2}}{2\pi\,G\,r^{2}} $$ or how it was derived. Are there any good references on how this equation was ...
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phase equilibrium

For a 2 phase closed system : $$d(nG)=(nV)dP-(nS)dT+\Sigma\mu_idn_i$$ now the question is, when we can use formula, $d(nG)=(nV)dP-(nS)dT$, for the above system, instead of the first formula, and why? ...
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3answers
101 views

Is heat always associated with Light?

I have found that light always produces heat. The only cases I think heat is absent with light is Fluorescence and Phosphorescence (maybe because they emit low energy but maybe the heat is still ...
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Would a rocky planet orbiting so close to a very hot star eventually vaporize?

I was thinking about the physics behind a hypothetical scenario where a planet the size and the mass of the Earth is orbiting so close to a very hot star and what the long-term fate of such a planet ...
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2answers
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Is it possible to measure temperature using sound?

Is it possible to measure the temperature of something using sound, by blasting sound waves at solid objects, liquids and gasses, then measuring how much sound is reflected or absorbed, to give an ...
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1answer
82 views

Wanted: simple physical representation of the influence of payload onto car tires [duplicate]

From measurements I can tell that weight, as a function of tire pressure increase, is not linear but more something like this: 50kg = 1 change in pressure 100kg = more than 2 changes in pressure, ...
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2answers
62 views

Where do atoms of H and He go when they rise in the atmosphere? [duplicate]

What happens to atoms/molecules of H and He when we let them freely fly in atmosphere do they get into space? Is there any particular way to enumerate the 'force' that drives them upwards? Does ...
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2answers
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Multiplicity vs Partition function

I'm a little confused between all the different notations for the multiplicity and partition function. They're not the same thing, are they? I know that entropy can be expressed as $ S = k \ln\Omega ...
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1answer
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Black plastic balls on reservoir to reduce evaporation - why black?

The story is here It states: The balls sit on top of the water and block the sunlight from hitting it, helping to reduce water evaporation as well as natural contamination and certain ...
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Is thermal and electrical conductivity correlated for all phases of matter?

After reading this interesting post about why copper is a great heat conductor, I wondered if a plasma would conduct heat better than a gas. Or, are some properties like density more important for ...
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1answer
78 views

Do photons have six degrees of freedom?

Calculations involving pressure and volume relationships of photon gas during the cosmologic expansion of the universe posit an adiabatic cooling process with a heat capacity ration of 4/3. This ratio ...
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The formula for calculating work transfer for a reversible adiabatic compression

Should we not be using Pdv for calculating the work done during a reversible adiabatic process ? Why are we using Vdp ? Can some one please explain this ? (P.S. I'm taking an introductory course on ...
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3answers
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How much effect does painting a domestic radiator have?

Yes, I know it should be called a convector :-) The obvious effect is that a coat of paint, which is generally a thermal insulator, can limit the rate of heat transfer from the metal to the air. But ...
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2answers
26 views

Isothermal versus Isometric/Isochoric

My impression is that all three have something do with change in internal energy, in thermodynamics. But I cannot tell exactly their relations. First isothermal, which literally means zero ...
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2answers
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Temperature of a Diamond in a Boiling Pot of Water

Suppose I have a boiling pot of water (100 degrees C) and drop a diamond in. Does the diamond eventually reach 100 degrees C? Since the diamond is a rigid structure, its molecules do not vibrate ...
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Does fire have an influence on the weight of a burning object?

I know that fire is a chemical reaction, and for that reason it has no mass, but I'm not sure that this fact is enough to conclude that it has no effect on the weight of a burning object. Consider the ...
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Thermal equilibrium of simple system

Consider a system of (fermion-like) particles. The idea is to find the equilibrium state. Take 3 particles and put each of them in one of the boxes of the figure, no more than one per box. The energy ...
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How to compute this change of Gibbs energy for a Van der Waals gas?

The change of Gibbs energy at constant temperature and species numbers, $\Delta G$, is given by an integral $\int_{p_1}^{p_2}V\,{\mathrm d}p$. For the ideal gas law $$p\,V=n\,RT,$$ this comes down to ...
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Can you huddle next to a fridge in sub-zero temperatures and keep warm?

There's a saying I've heard in so many places.. "It was so cold that we used to huddle next to our refrigerator to keep warm..." I had heard this phrase uttered some 30 or so years ago, and it's stuck ...
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What is the purpose of the linear approximation $\Delta L = \alpha L_0 \Delta T$?

What is the purpose of the linear approximation $\Delta L = \alpha L_0 \Delta T$? When using this, we run in all kinds of problems. For example, when a material heates up twice by 1K we get ...
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1answer
41 views

Reversible cycle approximated by Carnot cycles

My textbook, W.E. Gettys, F.J. Keller, M.J. Skove, Physics 1, gives the definition of a reversible transformation as a transformation that can be inverted by effectuating only infinitesimal changes in ...
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Is this 'combined statement' really equivalent to both the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics?

Quoting from Prausnitz' Molecular Thermodynamics of Fluid Phase Equilibria, For a homogeneous, closed system ... taking into account interactions of the system with its surroundings in the form of ...
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Is lost work always positive? How to approve?

I am dealing with a question asking for comment on the sign of lost work. The case is to consider an irreversible process and a reversible process which share the same starting and ending state. Is ...
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Lens-Mirror systems and conservation of specific intensity

This came out of a discussion I started yesterday and a related discussion I found. I'll recap the problem quickly: Consider two blackbodies, with surface areas $A_1$ and $A_2$ and temperatures $T_1$ ...
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1answer
26 views

Adiabatic Process: Direct Formula for new Temperature and Pressure [closed]

Assume we have an ideal gas in a piston that has pressure $p_0$ volume $V_0$ and temperature $T_0$. Then we assume, that the gas is compressed to a new volume $V_1=\alpha V_0$, where $\alpha \in ...
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1answer
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Paradox of potential energy of gas molecule

We know that when water is heated at its boiling point, it will become vapors. Then because there is no change in temperature, the heat supplied will be transferred to the potential energy of the ...
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2answers
66 views

Second Law of Thermodynamics and heating a blackbody with another blackbody

Given a large blackbody with surface area $A_1$ and temperature $T_1$, let's assume I can use some mirror and lens system to capture all the emitted radiation and transfer this energy to a smaller ...
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1answer
33 views

Newtonian heating

Suppose a fluid over a heated surface which is being stretched and the flow starts. Now the boundary condition at the surface is assumed as $q_w$ is proportional to the surface temperature. It is ...
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1answer
21 views

Usage of the formula Pdv for irreversible thermodynamic processes

Why do we use the formula Pdv for calculating work done in a irreversible process ? As per my knowledge , the term P indicates the pressure of the surrounding , which infinitesimally differs for the ...
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What is the physical fundamentals of Pascal's law

Pascal's law or the principle of transmission of fluid-pressure (also Pascal's Principle) is a principle in fluid mechanics that states that pressure exerted anywhere in a confined incompressible ...