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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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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2answers
209 views

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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109 views

Dimensional Analysis : Thermodynamics

I was coming across some notes online for phase transitions. In one of the places, the author has written the Claussius-Clayperon equation in this form, $$ \frac{d(ln P)}{d(ln T)} = \frac{T\Delta ...
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2answers
161 views

Why is a vacuum cleaner not as good heater as an electric radiator?

I've read this question and answer: How efficient is an electric heater? , but still don't understand. If I have an electric radiator it heats the room with 1000 Watts of power. And I feel the room's ...
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353 views

The cooling curve of tin during solidification

I'm going to measure the freezing point of tin by recording the cooling curve. It sounds like a dull experiment because all I have to do is to heat up the tin, wait for it to cool, and the computer ...
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408 views

How does heat energy travel in space?

How does the heat energy from the Sun reach us on the Earth? Since the kinetic energy of an atom is the amount of heat energy and there is no matter in space, how does heat from the Sun reach us?
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155 views

Is an ice globe the worst possible way to cool a drink (with ice)?

Given an alcohol solution and a mass of ice in whatever shape you like, is shaping it into a sphere the worst possible way to cool your drink without diluting it? If the ice starts off at a sub-zero ...
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369 views

Most efficient type of heat pump

Can I make a heat pump beat the Carnot efficiency? Why is the Carnot process the most efficient one? If I have a heatpump that is sphere shaped, and cascaded in layers like a onion can I beat Carnot ...
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398 views

Intuitive description of what a “Fermi Gas” really is?

This question is based in the area of material equations of state. I am wanting to know what a Fermi Gas really is. I have searched in several places for a decent description, but I have not found ...
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2k views

Why did the microwave oven only heat my coffe half as much as expected?

A sticker on my microwave oven states its output effect to be 750W, which is 180 calories per second. This means that heating 250g of water by one degree celsius would take 250/180 = 1.4s. Now, my ...
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1k views

How much oxygen would be consumed on a 1 cm squared surface which is on fire?

I'm trying to figure out how much oxygen the Human Torch produces when he is on fire. I figure if I knew how much oxygen on average (per second?) is consumed by a 1 cm squared surface which is ...
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710 views

How do I find average temperature given a temperature distribution?

I was told to find the temperature distribution of a wire with a current going through it. So I found $$T(x)=T_{\infty}-\frac{\dot{q}}{km^{2}}[\frac{cosh(mx)}{cosh(mL)}-1]$$ I need to find the ...
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2k views

In summer are the upper storey flats more hot or the lower storey flats?

I have often heard neighbours talking things like in a multi storied apartment, the upper flats are more hot in summer then lower flats (or vice versa?) and similarly for some comparison in winter? ...
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92 views

Does the second law of thermodynamics take into consideration of attractive interactions between particles?

If one searches Google or textbooks on 2nd Law of Thermodnamics, one usually finds a statement that is either equivalent or implies the following. The entropy of the universe always increases. But ...
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166 views

Increasing the efficiency of solar cell systems

As far as I know, there are currently two main approaches to utilising solar radiation for maximum energy conversion to electricity. These are either direct conversion to electricity, using ...
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53 views

Violently shaking object

Would violently shaking something cause a temperature change? For example, if a container of water was shook violently enough; would it be possible to make it boil?
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45 views

Can sound frequency create more ideal conditions for fire?

You may have seen the recent story of a device that engineers claim can extinguish flames using sound frequency. An older article loosely explains the theory behind how this works: Sound travels ...
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68 views

Difference between collisional and collisionless Boltzmann equations?

Reading an excellent answer, I've read about there are different Boltzmann statistics for a collision-less system (f.e. stars in a galaxy) and in a system with collisions (f.e. gas in a closed box). ...
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126 views

Blackbody radiation in thermally inhomogeneous environment

The power radiated by the backbody is according to Stefan-Boltzmann law $$ P = \sigma \varepsilon A (T^4-T_{env}^{4} ).$$ Is the parameter $T_{env}$ supposed to be only the temperature in the near ...
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115 views

Does radiating heat to outer space through the atmospheric transparency window have any impact on heat loss?

I was reading this article: Passive radiative cooling below ambient air temperature under direct sunlight The authors are improving upon the age-old idea of reflecting incoming sunlight while ...
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180 views

Is thermodynamic equilibrium static or dynamic?

Suppose, two parts of a system $A$ & $B$. They were at varying temperatures and hadn't achieved mechanical equilibrium. After the relaxation time, $A$ & $B$ were at thermal and mechanical ...
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1answer
116 views

Death by entropy

An idea struck me as I was walking to class today. According to Wikipedia, entropy is defined as the number of specific ways in which a thermodynamic system may be arranged, commonly understood as a ...
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119 views

What would a normal thermometer read at the Sun's photosphere?

I was reading about the Earth's Thermosphere, and I quote this: "The highly diluted gas in this layer can reach 2,500 °C (4,530 °F) during the day. Even though the temperature is so high, one would ...
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118 views

Why won't the efficiency of a heat pump increase when $T_\mathrm{cold}$ decreases?

Why won't the efficiency of a heat pump increase when $T_\mathrm{cold}$ decreases? In the carnot cycle, efficiency increases when $T_\mathrm{cold}$ gets colder and $T_\mathrm{hot}$ gets hotter. Are ...
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181 views

Inconsistency between Helmholtz and Gibbs Free Energies

I know that if the Helmholtz free energy, $A$, is expressed as a function $A\sim A(N,V,T)$, then this function contains all thermodynamic information about the system. For instance, the pressure of ...
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158 views

why are the square of the components of velocity equal?

In Principles of Physics by Resnick,Halliday,Walker, when evaluating the $v_{rms}$ ,they first found $p = \frac{nM(v_x)^2}{V}$ & then substiuted $(v_{avg})^2 = \frac{1}{3} .v^2$ where $v^2 = ...
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204 views

Who invented the perfume bottle thought experiment?

A common thought experiment used to explain the second law of thermodynamics, the "arrow of time", etc. is perfume escaping from an opened perfume bottle; the perfume is likely to diffuse into the ...
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82 views

Is enthalpy also valid for liquids and solids?

The definition of enthalpy is $$H=E+PV,$$ is it only valid for (ideal) gas? As this naturally comes from the first law of thermodynamics, $$dE=dQ+PdV$$ for a enclosed system of gas. Can we talk ...
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171 views

When Fire meets Water

To preface, I am not a scientific mind, but a writer looking for some validity to a possible scene. That being said, please forgive me! In my scene, huge masses of fire are raining from the sky and ...
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179 views

Intuitive explaination for why higher engine compression ratio is more efficient?

Intuitively to me it seems likes increasing compression ratio would require more work to compress the gasses before ignition, so you'd just end up getting back what you put in - like a spring. What am ...
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235 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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2answers
183 views

Is every material able to exist in every state of matter?

I was shocked while reading Kittel's "Introduction to Solid State Physics", that the solid state of noble gases is a well described and makes one of the fundamental achievements of solid state ...
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130 views

Is tea weaker if you make it in a half full cup of water?

Imagine you put a tea bag in a cup and half fill it with boiling water. Then after one minute you take the tea bag out and then fill the cup up to fill with hot water. Will the tea be weaker than if ...
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3k views

How much energy in form of heat does a human body emit?

How much energy in form of heat does a human body emit at rest level?
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450 views

Entropy $dQ=TdS$ and Work $dW = -pdV$ conditions?

What are the conditions in order for the equations: Entropy $dQ = TdS$ and Work $dW = -p dV$ to work? I think for $dQ = T dS$, it must be a reversible process? But for $dW = -p dV$, shouldn't it ...
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195 views

Heating effects of microwaves

I understand the heating effect(dielectric heating) of microwaves. This heating is caused by using a frequency of 2.45 GHz and this is the same frequency at which Bluetooth works and the L and S ...
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4answers
558 views

Boiling Order (Thermodynamics) [closed]

Three pots made of the same material are placed one inside the other and all pots are filled with water to the same level. If heat is applied to the bottom of the outermost pot what will be the ...
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7k views

What is the $C_p/C_v$ ratio?

Recently in our chemistry class we read that the $C_p/C_v$ ratio of the inert gases is 1.66 thus they show inert nature. I asked my teacher what was $C_p/C_v$ ratio but he didn't answer me. So I want ...
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455 views

What is the relationship between the second law of thermodynamics and evolution?

On one hand evolution seems to drive against the second law in that it creates a state of (locally) higher order. On the other hand the second law seems to drives evolution - in the sense that it ...
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140 views

Does a universe experiencing “heat death” have a temperature?

As defined by Wikipedia: The heat death of the universe is a suggested ultimate fate of the universe in which the universe has diminished to a state of no thermodynamic free energy and ...
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216 views

“Quantum version” of Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution

Is there a "quantum mechanical version" of the classical Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution for monatomic ideal gases? I'm quite new to thermodynamics, but I just wanted to know. If there is such a ...
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1answer
265 views

Where does additional heat energy come from in isothermal step of Carnot cycle

According to widipedia: During step 1 (isothermal heat addition or absorption) the gas is allowed to expand and it does work on the surroundings. The temperature of the gas does not change ...
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1answer
189 views

Thermodynamics, PV diagrams?

My teacher told me that the total amount of work done on or by a gas can be represented by the area enclosed in the process in a PV diagram. This is only valid for non isothermic processes, right?
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5k views

Hot Air Balloon and Buoyancy

This is a conceptual question in a solution I am trying to understand. Problem statement: I have a balloon with a volume of V $m^3$. The outside air temp is $K$ kelvin and mass to lift is $m$ kg. I ...
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1answer
477 views

Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity PDF to CDF [closed]

I asked on Math.SE and was advised to try here instead. I need to draw from a Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution to initialise a molecular dynamics simulation. I have the PDF but I'm having ...
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2answers
885 views

P-T Phase diagram. Density of material at critical point

One of the questions I had while reading through some material was: Why is the density of a given volume of gas uniquely defined at the critical point, but not at the triple point? Is it because at ...
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10k views

Calculating work done on an ideal gas

I am trying to calculate the work done on an ideal gas in a piston set up where temperature is kept constant. I am given the volume, pressure and temperature. I know from Boyle's law that volume is ...
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197 views

Proof of quantum mechanical position uncertainty

How can you prove the uncertainty for position is: $$\Delta{x} =\sqrt{\langle x^2\rangle-\langle x\rangle^2}$$ $\Delta{x}$, taken to be the root mean square of x. $$\Delta{x} =\sqrt{\langle ...
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Which one true in First law of thermodynamics: $Q = \Delta U \pm W = \Delta U \pm p\Delta V$ or $\Delta U= \Delta Q + \Delta W $?

Which one true in First law of thermodynamics: $Q = \Delta U \pm W = \Delta U \pm p\Delta V$? (where $\Delta U$ is change of internal energy, $W$ work made by system and $Q=cm\Delta T $ heat made ...
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339 views

Schrödinger and thermodynamics

I heard that Schrödinger pointed out that (classical/statistical) thermodynamics is impaired by logical inconsistencies and conceptual ambiguities. I am not sure why he said this and what he is ...