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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138 views

Time taken to cook frozen peas

I'm cooking frozen peas in my kitchen. Experiment 1 - I take a quantity of frozen peas, put them into a (room temperature) saucepan, add a quantity (at least enough to cover the peas) of boiling water ...
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3answers
986 views

Problem in understanding the Proof of $PV^{\gamma}$ =constant in thermodynamics

I have looked at the proof of this relation $PV^\gamma = C$; (where $P$ is pressure and $V$ is volume) in quite some places but I am not able to understand the logic behind the third step. In ...
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2answers
92 views

Sound in stirred hot fluids

If a hot beverage in a cup gets stirred, the sound of the spoon changes. You can easily hear this if you repeatedly cling the spoon to the cup ground after stirring. The cling sound will raise in tune ...
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5answers
607 views

What is the heat sink in an internal combustion engine?

I believe that the heat source is the spark plug because it heats up the fuel-air mixture and that the working substance is the fuel-gas mixture. Then, I know that the explosion created by the fuel ...
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2answers
272 views

Symplectic geometry in thermodynamics

There seems to be analogues between Hamiltonian dynamics and thermodynamics given the Legendre transforms between Lagrangian and Hamiltonian functions and all of Maxwell's relations. Poincarè tried to ...
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2answers
564 views

What's the true reason behind thermal expansion?

Thermal expansion is a normal concept everyday. There are 2 explanations: 1, thermal expansion result in stress, then result in deformation 2, thermal expansion result in deformation, then result in ...
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1answer
152 views

Grand Canonical Partition Function

I'm looking over posted lecture notes for a course, and this derivation of the Grand Canonical Partition function eludes me. It goes like this: occupation numbers $n_{α}=0,1,…$, Total particle number ...
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1answer
135 views

Shock-waves, Bangs and the Speed of Sound

I was watching this video of an erupting volcano. Some Guys in the comments tried to estimate how far away the volcano is by using the delay until the "shock-wave" hits the camera and the speed of ...
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1answer
232 views

Can you explain why crystals form without thermodynamics?

I know that the basic reason that solid crystals form is because it's the lowest energy configuration (i.e. this). I am looking for an intuitive explanation for this process, one that does not involve ...
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1answer
299 views

What's the point with equilibrium in Thermodynamics?

All the Thermodynamics books I saw until now state that in Thermodynamics we are mainly concearned with equilibrium states (I know there's "non-equilibrium Thermodynamics", but I'm interested on the ...
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1answer
348 views

Definition of entropy in nonequilibrium states

Thermodynamical definition of entropy $$S(p)=-\int p\ln p~dx$$ is defined only on equilibrium system. But why can't we use it for non-equilibrium system? Is there a well-accepted definition for it?
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2answers
90 views

Is Rosehip Syrup boiling in a bottle?

My wife made Rose-hip syrup and the final part was boiling it in a saucepan. While still hot she placed it in a glass bottle. To keep it sterile she plugged it with a wine-saver top and sucked out ...
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1answer
535 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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3answers
1k 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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2answers
374 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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5answers
2k views

Does it take infinite energy to create a perfect vacuum?

Question is inspired by a recent burst of perpetuum mobile-type questions. It would be nice if one could simply discard them all (or at least the huge class that assumes some kind of perfect vacuum to ...
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2answers
5k views

Why is the change of temperature $\Delta T$ measured in Kelvins, degrees Celsius, etc.?

Let me start by apologizing if this question seems pedantic and say that I'm not very familiar with physics in general, as I'm a math major instead. Anyway, say a body changes from temperature $T_1$ ...
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1answer
224 views

Water coolso object by heat absorption [duplicate]

Why do water of water based liquids like sweat cool objects? The most clear example I have is the sweat on the skin. I learned that it absorbed heat because it evaporates, but this is something ...
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1answer
819 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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1answer
466 views

Does electric potential have a temperature?

When I took my first thermo class a tucked away chapter introduced Exergy in terms of electrical energy, meaning that the amount of electrical energy you could get from something is functionally its ...
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1answer
467 views

If layers of insulation are continuously added to a heated object, will it continue to be better insulated?

If you were to keep adding layers of insulation to something, like blankets to a person, would each blanket continue to improve the insulation? Or do you reach some point at which the next blanket ...
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2answers
767 views

How to interpret Stefan-Boltzmann's law?

The Stefan-Boltzmann equation states $e=\sigma T^4$, but how do we interpret this? Is this completely wrong: A body of size $s^2$ generates the radiation/temperature $T^4$ for a given size and a ...
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1answer
780 views

Why do non-stick frying pans work?

Modern non-stick frying pans use a mixture of titanium and ceramic that is sandblasted onto the pan surface, and then fired to 2,000 °C (according to Wikipedia). Can anyone explain (at the molecular ...
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1answer
552 views

Why there is no negative temperature [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Prove that negative absolute temperatures are actually hotter than positive absolute temperatures Proof of existence of lowest temperature $0 K$ On the Kelvin temperature ...
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1answer
1k views

How to properly bake a ultra high vacuum chamber?

I need to get rid of water excess in my vacuum chamber, and for that there is the procedure of baking. In order to do that there are several things that one needs to consider, the power, heat load, ...
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1answer
587 views

Boiling when I plunge my french press?

Occasionally when I make coffee in my french press I experience something odd. It happens pretty infrequently but certainly enough to be curious about. I have the grounds ready in the carafe. The ...
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1answer
617 views

Relation between external magnetic field intensity H, magnetisation M and the entropy?

How are the external magnetic field intensity H, magnetisation M and the entropy related to each other? i.e. if I change the magnetic field intensity by dH what will be the change in entropy dS in ...
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2answers
596 views

Intuition behind the concept of heat

Even if elementary, I'm afraid I am still not comfortable with the concept of heat. I can picture heat as some kind of incompressible fluid that is transferred from a body to another in such a way ...
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4answers
2k views

Is the efficiency of a stirling engine affected by dead volumes?

Consider the p-V diagrams of an ideal and real stirling cycle, as found here The article suggests that dead volumes reduce the efficiency of a stirling engine. On the other hand, a simple thought ...
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1answer
3k views

Why is the lid of the cookware kept on induction cooker not hot?

Induction cookware cooks food by inducing an electro magnetic field in the ferro-magnetic cookware. Since iron offers a lot of resistance to the current, the current is converted into heat in the ...
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1answer
81 views

Good references for specific heats

Does anyone know of a good reference for specific heats? It seems that it is no longer popular to publish values. I am especially interested in the specific heats of polymers.
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1answer
2k views

Questions about compressing a liquid in a piston

We were discussing super-critical fluids with a colleague and as were thinking about different thought-experiments, it occurred to me that you cannot really have only liquid in a piston in a real ...
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2answers
1k views

Energy of unmixing

Mixing of two different fluids is associated with an increase of entropy. Conversely, separation of two gases must be associated with a decrease of the entropy of the two fluids. Is there a minimum ...
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1answer
93 views

How does eating a cold ice cream actually heat up your body? [closed]

The question is the title itself. During winter one of my friend told we'll have an ice cream. And rest of us where like are you nuts. He was like cold ice-cream actually heats up your body. Even I ...
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1answer
35 views

Moving heat problem: instant toast?

Toast-making usually takes a couple minutes using something like a conventional toaster oven to brown the surface of a piece of bread, making toast. However, this duration may be inconvenient. What ...
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2answers
65 views

Blocks releasing heat energy [closed]

If you had two blocks, two different sizes yet the same temperature. Which one would release the most energy in the shortest amount of time and why?
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1answer
135 views

Why don't we observe spontaneous symmetry restoration in nature?

Why do we always observe spontaneous symmetry breaking in nature and not restoration? Does there exist some argument with the 2nd law of thermodynamics and the entropy of the universe increasing? If ...
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3answers
95 views

Why would we freeze in space if there is no matter to conduct the heat away from us?

If a near perfect vacuum is assumed to be in space, how can heat leak around from our body for example? Although theoretically energy wishes to spread equally all around, it still needs a medium to ...
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3answers
166 views

Why does conservation of étendue matter when showing one cannot focus light to arbitrary temperatures?

The latest XKCD What-If post discusses how one cannot start a fire by focusing the light from the moon. The answer is no, for well-established reasons, but the explanation isn't watertight. Maybe ...
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1answer
355 views

Why are wooden houses warmer than concrete ones in cold regions?

Why are wooden houses warmer than concrete ones in cold regions? I went looking for data and I saw that both have similar emissivity and similar conductivity. Thus I am confused. Moreover, the ...
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2answers
125 views

Can I cook an egg by holding it in thermosphere?

It is known that in thermosphere, air temperature is rising sharply with increase of altitude. In upper atmosphere, temperatures can even reach 2000°C or higher: see 2. However, air there is ...
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2answers
77 views

Why do some materials shrink when their temperature increases?

In my vision it would seem quite logical that all materials expand when temperature rises. Because the particles get more energy and travel larger distances when moving. But apparently there are ...
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2answers
63 views

Simplest form of thermodynamic cooling equation?

I'm writing a personal project program for simulating a nuclear reactor. This is not my field of expertise and what I'm struggling the most with is a good equation for cooling. Newton's law of ...
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2answers
273 views

Does the second law of thermodynamics imply a spacetime beginning of the universe?

Recently I have been studying thermodynamics and I noticed a article by a religious person which says that the second law of thermodynamics proves that the universe had a beginning. A spacetime one. ...
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1answer
100 views

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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3answers
201 views

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 $L=L_1+\...
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1answer
540 views

What is meant by a “stiff” or “soft” equation of state (wrt neutron stars)?

I am currently trying to understand the history of the development of the equations of state and structure of neutron stars. In my textbook, I frequently encounter phrases such as "The ...