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 one get clear ice crystals from a dirty suspension?

Euteictic freeze crystallization is a method where an electrolytic solution is cooled and separated into a stream of (relativly) clean, pure ice and a salty brine. I know anectdotally of wine ...
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110 views

Calculate how hot PLA will become

I am trying to attach the shaft of a brass heating tip to a PLA component. My problem is that the tip will have to reach a temperature of about 200°C and the PLA can only handle a temperature of about ...
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46 views

Interface condition for heat exchange

I would like to compute the heat distribution of a piece of metal with some surrounding material. The heat is assumed to propagate by diffusion, so inside the metal piece and also on the outside, the ...
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119 views

Will humid air mitigate airborn dust due to neutralization of static electricity?

I have came to understand that humid air will help prevent electrostatic forces that can propel dust and cause it to cling to surfaces. My first question: is this above statement true? If the answer ...
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61 views

In a non-degenerate plasma, why are e-e collision negligible compared to e-ion for thermal conduction?

I'm trying to make some order of magnitude estimates of heat transfer in stars - to better understand 1) why conduction is said to be negligible (for non-degenerate matter) and 2) when convection ...
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82 views

Temperature of the CMB when the Earth formed and the faint young Sun paradox

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) has a modern temperature of about 2.7 K. At the time of the origin of the CMB, about 13.6 billion years ago, it had a temperature of about 3000 K. ...
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148 views

Dissipation when the temperature is not constant

Consider a process where some chemical species diffuses from one part of a system (which I'll call $A$) to another ($B$) at a rate $r$ $\text{mol}\cdot \mathrm s^{-1}$. If the system's temperature is ...
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1k views

When do I know if energy stored in an object is 0 or nonzero? (Heat transfer)

There is uniform internal heat generation at $\dot{q}=5\times10^{7} \frac{W}{m^{3}}$ is occurring in a cylindrical nuclear reactor fuel rod of 50 mm diameter and under steady state conditions the ...
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1k views

What are typical values of the critical thickness of insulation?

As most people who've had any elementary heat transfer course are aware, when insulating a pipe, wire, etc, there is a critical thickness for the insulation below which it causes greater heat transfer ...
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303 views

Maxwell's Demon - laser cooling

There’s an interesting article on Scientific American that tells how to cool individual atoms to within a very tiny fraction of Absolute Zero. It uses two laser beams acting on a very cold rarified ...
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21 views

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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52 views

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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29 views

Specific Internal Energy Decreases with Increasing Pressure?

I was looking at "Properties of Compressed Liquid Water" (Table A-5) in Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics by Moran. Table A-5 shows that the specific internal energy $u$ of compressed liquid ...
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38 views

Free energy a continuous function of temperature but may not be differentiable everywhere?

So according to my understanding, the free energy of the system should be a continuous function of temperature. This is because if the free energy is not continuous at temperature T, then at this ...
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16 views

Effusion of particles from one box to another - pressure calculation

Suppose we have a container divided into equal halves. Right half is fixed at temperature $T$, volume $\frac{V}{2}$. Initially it has pressure $P_0$, a hole of area $A$ is opened between them. I ...
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18 views

Thermodynamics of binary symmetric channels

I am reading this very interesting paper: http://m.iopscience.iop.org/1751-8121/41/40/402002/pdf/1751-8121_41_40_402002.pdf about thermodynamics of channels in information theory. More generally, ...
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23 views

Calculating heat capacity from the equation of state

It is known that within thermodynamics alone, given the equation of the state of a system, one cannot explicitly determine the heat capacity. What is the mathematical reason for this? Intuitively, it ...
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56 views

Thermal expansion of two bolts

I have this question asking me about the thermal expansions of two bolts, a steel one, and a brass one. I have the equation: $\ (\delta L/L)/T = \alpha $ I don't understand how I can use this ...
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28 views

Energy stored in a battery?

I want to calculate the energy lost from a battery to heat, and the energy stored in a battery. Are these formula's correct? $ E_b$ = $I$$V$ x $t$ $ E_H$ = $I$$R$$^2$ x $t$ $E_b$ = energy stored in ...
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39 views

Given partial derivatives find the state function

I have to find the state function of a gas (which under very low pressures behaves as an ideal gas). So, first I tried writing it as part of an equation $ dV = \dfrac{\partial V}{\partial T}\ dT + ...
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20 views

Snowmaking in the tropics - an estimate of water evaporation

If I set up a snowmaker in the tropics and sprayed water with it how much water would I evaporate? How would I calculate?
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41 views

Radiation heat transfer

I'm looking at the radiosity equations for heat transfer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiosity_(heat_transfer)#Radiosity_method Specifically, I'm hesitant to accept the equation: $$ \dot Q_i = ...
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65 views

Could water physically makeup the core of a planet or otherwise large celestial mass?

Knowing very little about the nature of water, wondering how it might behave at the centre of a planet or centre of an another massive gravitational body. Could water take such pressures or might it ...
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27 views

Restrained expansion of a piston/cylinder

Suppose an ideal gas in a piston cylinder has some initial pressure $p_1$, volume $V_1$, and temperature $T_1$. A pin, which holds the piston in place, is suddenly removed, and the gas quickly ...
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97 views

VdW Gas Entropy/Enthalpy/Gibbs Free Energy of Mixing in 2 Chamber Experiment

What are the equations for $\Delta S_{mix}$, $\Delta G_{mix}$, and $\Delta H_{mix}$ for a real gas? Explanation: In one of the most well known experiments in thermodynamics, two chambers are ...
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47 views

Derivation of cylindrical line heat source problem?

I have a line heat source embedded inside a cylinder and I am trying to find the temperature distribution T(r,t). By using the similarity variable, the solution to the differential equation is ...
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29 views

Vacancy Generation / Annihilation Time (Relaxation Time)

Vacancy Generation/Annihilation Time, Recombination Time and Relaxation Time ($\tau$) are all synonymously used in atomic physics literatures. They're defined as the time that it takes for vacancies ...
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93 views

Partition Function of a three state particle system

I've just finished studying the partition function of a two-state particle system, where particles can have a 0 energy value or E energy value . That is: Where $t_j$ is a variable of value ...
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44 views

How the pressure of a system changes in terms of density?

I am modeling a closed natural circulation loop, filled with water. Some parts of the loop are heated, some are cooled and other are assumed adiabatic. As an effect of heating and cooling the density ...
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35 views

Maximum temperature of an elliptical thermodynamic process

Given a heat engine made from the curve $$V(t)=V_0 +A \cos(\omega t); \qquad P(t)=P_0-B \sin(\omega t).$$ What are the hottest and coldest points of this cycle, and what are the temperatures at those ...
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89 views

Can there be a phase transition without change in entropy and volume?

Context: I'm studying basic thermodynamics. My lecture notes pose a question, whether there can be a phase transition without a change in entropy or volume ? Do you have any hints on where to start ...
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65 views

Conduction– conservation of energy

So I know that conduction is transfer of thermal energy by direct contact via molecular collisions. For conduction, $Q/t$ is the rate of heat flow and is heat current ($I$). My textbook says that ...
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64 views

How to calculate the van der Waals force from the van der Walls equation?

Given the van der Waals equation $$\left(p+\frac{n^2a}{V^2}\right)\left(V-nb\right)=nRT$$ and the van der Waals constants $a$ and $b$, how can I find the van der Walls force between two atoms at ...
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157 views

Radiative cooling time for a black body

Okay, so this is confusing me a bit. How can I calculate the time it takes to cool a perfect black body from an initial temperature $T$ down to equilibrium temperature (say, 3 K for space)? I know ...
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47 views

Transitions in a magnetic refrigeration

The graph below (see attached) shows the measured magnetization against temperature at room pressure for the material Gd and for another material for use in a magnetic refrigerator at room ...
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153 views

Average number of spin up particles

In a paramagnetic system, where $N = N_\uparrow + N_\downarrow$ is fixed, how does one calculate the average number of spin-up particles $\langle N_\uparrow \rangle$? You can assume we have the ...
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31 views

Cycle with unspecified irreversbile transformation. Find $P,V$ in the various states.

I've been thinking to this for the last two hours and haven't been able to come with a solution. Problem. A mole of gas initially at pressure $P_A = 2 \text { atm}$ and occupying a volume ...
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58 views

What is the origin of the kinetic theory of temperature?

Count Rumford's experiments with canon barrels are often cited here, but the kinetic theory certainly precedes them. Another candidate is Daniel Bernoulli, who, in his 1738 book Hydrodynamica showed ...
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122 views

Density distribution of gas in a centrifugal field

The problem asks me to find the density of gas in a cylinder of radius $R$ and length $l$ rotating about its axis with angular velocity $ω$, there being a total of $N$ molecules in the cylinder. What ...
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305 views

Calculate water use and design parameters for closed loop wet cooling tower

I am looking to estimate water use at a power plant with a closed loop wet cooling tower system. I have done some reading on cooling towers, but am struggling to connect the equations to a final ...
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151 views

Thermodynamics question

Here is a question I am trying to solve. Sorry for the highlighting, it is not relevant. Here are my answers. For a), I would write $dE = dQ + dW$, following the first principle of thermodynamics. ...
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813 views

Definitions in thermodynamics: temperature, thermal equilibrium, heat

I'm currently reading Fermi's "Thermodynamics" and I'm trying to grasp the (possibly different) right definitions for temperature, thermal equilibrium, heat. To clarify, I'm looking for definitions ...
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68 views

Where does the relation $u=h_f-RT+(c_p-R)(T-T_0)$ come from?

I'm working on a college project for a subject called Motorcycle Engineering, and in this project I'm supposed to do some reverse engineering on a MATLAB program to model the engine of the motorcycle. ...
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70 views

Compressibility and specific heat: interconnectedness and independence?

Consider a Mott insulator (insulator arising from strong correlations). This is an incompressible phase i.e. it costs energy to add a single particle to it; the ease of compression (compressibility) ...
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71 views

Biological Themodynamics - What does an endpoint saturated signal mean. How does it relate to equillibrium constant

I have had a question that has been bugging me for a couple of years in my graduate school career, and I was wondering if perhaps some physicist could help explain it to me. Given an endpoint assay ...
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52 views

Can I run a pulse tube cooler in reverse to generate pressure oscillations?

Since a pulse tube cooler is basically a Stirling engine without moving parts running "in reverse", does that imply that when I keep the cold end at ambient temperature and apply heat to the hot end, ...
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54 views

commutators in an uncertainty relationship derived from a partition function?

The maximum information principle for the discrete case gives rise to a partition function (>>> see details here) $$Z(\lambda_1,\ldots, \lambda_m) = \sum_{i=1}^n \exp\left[\lambda_1 f_1(x_i) + \cdots ...
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105 views

Traditional Transfer Matrix on the Potts model — how it grows for strip lattices?

What is the transfer matrix size for a strip lattice of width $n$ vertices, with arbitrary $q$?? I am not sure if it is $q^n$ x $q^n$ or something else. Any reference is also welcome.
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52 views

Does time stand still at a phase transition?

For second order phase transition thermodynamic properties can be described in very general terms by their critical exponents. So at every transition the correlation length $\xi$ should diverge as ...
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162 views

ideal gas law modelization in a vacuum chamber

I am trying to model a pressure sensor in COMSOL. The basic work is that there is current flowing inside it, if the pressure of the gas around it drops down, the temperature goes down as well (ideal ...