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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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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3answers
287 views

Can the vibrational energy of a engine be used to increase efficiency?

In whole mechanics, we never talk about wasted vibrational energy! As we see in our daily life, a lot of energy is wasted as vibrational energy in every engine, for example as we fire our car's ...
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2answers
12k 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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1answer
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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1k views

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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357 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 ...
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198 views

Heat Equation Equalities

While studying the heat equation, I ran into a few equalities that I cannot understand. For example, Fourier's law of heat conduction claims that $$\varphi(x,t)=-K_0\frac{\partial u}{\partial x},$$ ...
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164 views

Do processes $P\propto\frac{1}{V^2}$, $P\propto\frac{1}{V^3}$, $P\propto\frac{1}{V^4}$, etc., exist in the real world?

Is there any real process in which $PV^n=C$ where $P,V$ stands for pressure, volume respectively. $C$ is a constant and $n$ is a positive integer? I am familiar with Boyle's law that states that ...
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421 views

Why water will stay on a piece of toilet paper?

I think everyone has tried to blow air (breath) on toilet papers. The papers will get wet. I believe the holes diameters on a toilet paper should be much larger than diameters of water molecules. (The ...
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2answers
518 views

why egg cooks slowly in mountains?

A quick Google tells me "Because water boils at a lower temperature at high altitudes". But I am not being able to understand this answer and fill-in the gap. Like, how does an egg cook in the first ...
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1answer
322 views

Cooling a ball of Iron

If I have an ocean with constant temp 10 degrees celcius and I throw in an 8 gram iron ball that's 50 degrees celcius, I'd like to find how to calculate the amount of energy that flows into the water ...
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556 views

Internal Energy and entropy in a open system

Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_energy we can read $$U= TS-PV+\sum_i \mu_i N_i$$ Let's suppose i=1 and a ideal gas. We know: $$U=N/N_A c_v T$$; $$PV=NKT$$; $$\mu=\frac{\partial ...
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863 views

Why is a hot air balloon “stiff”?

1) Why is a hot air balloon stiff? 2) Is the pressure inside the balloon higher than the pressure outside (atmospheric pressure)? 3) If the pressure inside is higher than the outside, how is it ...
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2answers
73 views

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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44 views

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
41 views

Paradox about the efficiency of a thermal engine

Based on that, the algebra calculation is correct. But it seems confused to me. Even though the overall efficiency reduces, it is still useful, isn't it? From the same amount of energy we can ...
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1answer
60 views

Relation between Von Neumann entropy (and other entanglement measures) and thermodynamical entropy

Suppose I have a bipartite system (with Hilbert space $H = H_a \times H_b$) and the following state: $$\sigma = \sum_{n} \frac{e^{-\beta E_n}}{Z} \rho_n$$ where $Z = \sum_n e^{- \beta E_n}$ and ...
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1answer
58 views

How much a juice maker increases the temperature of the product?

Recently I asked on skeptics if cold pressed juice is higher in nutrients than one from centrifugal juicer and one of the claims is that the centrifugal juicer heats the juice enough to destroy ...
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3answers
109 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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1answer
237 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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2answers
70 views

Practical understanding of energies in LHC collisions

Is visible light emitted at the point of collision in the LHC? If so, how bright? How much water could be heated up by 10 degrees celsius (this is the energy from collision only, not the energy to ...
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112 views

Why is the change in entropy for a given energy input dependent on the temperature?

In my thermodinamics class, we saw that $$dS=\frac{dQ}{T}$$ and $$\Delta S=\int_{a}^{b}\frac{dQ}{T}$$ My question is: why for the same energy input $dQ$ the entropy increases more in lower ...
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1answer
80 views

How to heat water at very high temepratures?

I am working on a project and recently came through a situation where I'll be working with water evaporation. On searching the internet I found that water heated at 350Celsius would generate almost ...
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2answers
191 views

Can calculations find positive entropy change for heat transfer from cold reservoir to hot body?

I was working on a "simple" heat transfer question and have now confused myself! This question refers to the case where an object is brought into contact with a thermal reservoir, causing the object ...
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1answer
141 views

Why is the Carnot engine the most efficient?

It seems that the only condition used in proving that the Carnot engine is the most efficient is that it is reversible. More specifically, the Carnot engine can be run in reverse as a refrigerator. ...
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1answer
270 views

Total and partial derivatives in thermodynamics and Maxwell relations

Consider the expression $$dS=\left(\frac{\partial S}{\partial T}\right)_VdT+\left(\frac{\partial S}{\partial V}\right)_TdV$$ I'm trying to understand how to derive an expression for $\left( ...
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629 views

Heat generated by collision

Suppose there are two objects: A = m1 and B = m2 . A is travelling at a constant velocity v toward B and collides inelastically: is there a way in which I could determine the energy which is ...
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3answers
313 views

Is it possible for heat to flow from body having less heat energy to a body having more heat energy?

Is it possible for heat to flow from a body having less heat energy to a body having more heat energy?
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1answer
128 views

What determines how much energy a stone can hold?

Imagine you have a stone that is being hit by focused sunlight from a magnifying glass. Later you will place the stone into water to heat it. What type of stone will transfer the most energy into the ...
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1answer
95 views

Partial Pressure - Which solution is right?

Question: Carbon dioxide (1.100 g) was introduced into a 1.00 L flask which contained some pure oxygen gas. The flask was warmed to 373 K and the pressure was then found to be 608 mmHg. If CO2 and O2 ...
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3answers
163 views

Why doesn't Euler's theorem provide an *absolute* energy scale

we know that for a one component system $$U= TS - PV + N \mu$$ Now all terms on the right hand side have well defined zeros, but the internal energy is known to be a relative quantity, with no ...
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1answer
169 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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161 views

$E,H,\rho,\vec{j}$ intensive? $B,D,\Phi,\vec{A}$ extensive? Why not $ DdE,BdH ,\Phi\delta\rho,\vec{A}\cdot \delta \vec{j}$ as infinitesimal work?

$u$ is the e&m field energy $\frac{\partial u}{\partial t}=H\cdot \frac{\partial B}{\partial t}+E\cdot \frac{\partial D}{\partial t}$ Compared with thermo physics: $PdV,TdS,\mu dN$ ...
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1answer
162 views

Immediately after the Big Bang, was the universe in a state of extremely low or extremely high entropy?

Phase space theory suggests that the largest course-graining region, $p$, in a phase space, $P$, is the point in the phase space with the highest entropy. As such, it is in thermal equilibrium with ...
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1answer
642 views

Specific heat of aluminium as a function of temperature

I am trying to find the curve describing the specific heat of aluminum as a function of temperature between about 50K to 300K(or room temperature) for an experiment I am doing. Ultimately I need to ...
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1answer
583 views

Why does a cooling motorcycle make popping noises?

I was sitting in my parked car tonight when a Harley-Davidson motorcycle parked next to me. With my window down, I could hear that as the motorcycle was cooling down, it was giving off some type of ...
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1answer
813 views

Setting up an equation for calculating how long it takes a body to change temperature in its sorroundings

The United States has just recently been hit by a massive vortex of Arctic air. These unusually bitter temperatures have sparked my interests to ask the following rheotical question: How much time ...
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1answer
125 views

Does salt $NaCl$ as a solid float in molten salt?

I know ice floats in water because it's crystalline structure causes $H_20$ solid to be less dense than $H_20$ liquid. Is the same true for salt because it is crystalline? If not why?
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1answer
160 views

Can anyone explain the idea behind dS ∝ dV/V?

In a lecture on entropy, one of the equations $dS ∝ \frac {dV}{V}$ was explained as "a fractional change in volume as a measure of the increase in randomness" (related to $\frac{dQ}{T}$) How does ...
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2answers
848 views

Does coffee cool faster than tap water?

A friend of mine, based on casual observation, believes that coffee will cool faster than ordinary hot tap water. Being curious about this I have tried to investigate it myself, but I'm not well ...
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1answer
62 views

How can you tell between gas, liquid and crystal in a microscopic way?

I know that molecules in ideal gas can move freely, and molecules in crystal are bonded to some specific location. But can I describe this in a more quantitative way? Do gas molecules have more ...
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2answers
1k views

Can any solid of low heat capacity release or gain energy slower than another solid of higher heat capacity?

If our sense of contact temperature is influenced by the thermal conductivity of the material: Can any solid material with a low heat capacity exist that feels closer to human body temperature than ...
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1answer
340 views

Is there an easy way to get water at roughly 70°C in our kitchen?

Some green tea requires to pour water at 70°C. I have no thermal sensor or kettle with adjustable temperature with me. Do you know a way to get water at roughly 70°C like “boil water and wait for x ...
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2answers
6k views

In an ideal gas, if temperature increases, will pressure or volume increase?

This question came up when I was talking about the atmosphere. Someone had mistakenly claimed that as temperature increases, the density of the atmosphere should increase as well. I reasoned from the ...
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1answer
113 views

Would a super-hot object launch itself into the air?

In this XKCD What If, an indestructible hairdryer outputs 2 GW of power, turning the earth under it into gas: Periodic explosions of gas beneath the box launch it into the air, and it starts fires ...
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1answer
295 views

Is a tankless water heater more or less efficient than an electric stove at heating water?

Consider the following scenario that I actually encounter frequently: I just finished washing a pot in the sink, and now I want to boil some water for cooking noodles. If I fill the pot with hot ...
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2answers
621 views

Doubt over Kelvin-Planck statement of thermodynamics' second law

I have a doubt over the Kelvin and Planck's statement of thermodynamics' second law, in particular applied to a cycle. Let's take a Carnot cycle as an example, and let's call the first two ...
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1answer
568 views

How much does sunlight affect inside temperature?

Suppose we have a $3\cdot 3\cdot 3\,m^3$ room of which one side is glass. And suppose that the other 5 sides have no effect on temperature (super isolation). We know from physics how to calculate ...
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1answer
2k views

Sackur-Tetrode equation - clarification required - problem with units

I'm a 2nd year physics undergraduate and recently I've volunteered to give a short presentation on the Sackur-Tetrode equation derivation and its use at removing the Gibbs paradox. I've looked on the ...
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3answers
839 views

Question about the proof that heat capacity goes to zero if temperature approaches $0K$

I don't completely understand the proof that is given for the claim that the heat capacity goes to zero, if the temperature approaches $0K$. They do it as follows, if $C_x$ is the heat capacity where ...