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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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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161 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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158 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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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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609 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
557 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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763 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
119 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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141 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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822 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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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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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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323 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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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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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
293 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
609 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
554 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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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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809 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 ...
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1answer
62 views

Heat deposition at optical focus in a clear medium

This is an applied physics question for an engineering problem. The well known experiment we have all done--burn paper and wood with a magnifying glass and the sun's rays. My question is, if one were ...
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961 views

Calculating the change in entropy in a melting process

I have a homework question that I'm completely stumped on and need help solving it. I have a $50\, \mathrm{g}$ ice cube at $-15\, \mathrm{C}$ that is in a container of $200\, \mathrm{g}$ of water at ...
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661 views

How can anything be hotter than the Sun?

I've heard that if a space shuttle enters the atmosphere from a bad angle its surface will become so hot that it will be hotter than the surface of the Sun. How can that be? It seems to an uneducated ...
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1k views

Does an object's color change its rate of cooling?

The motivation for this question comes directly from this thread. The proposition is that the color of something changes how fast it cools (note: specifically the rate of cooling, not taking into ...
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863 views

Best way to move teaspoon to dissolve sugar in a cup of tea

I know that there is asked questions about something like cooling down cope of coffee..etc, but this one is little different. My friend was watching TV program of English eating etiquette, and they ...
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439 views

Entropy exchange of a free fall

I have a problem in which the tell me that you drop a bag of 50 kg of sand from 10 meters high, and you have to caltulate the entropy difference of the sand, asuming that the speific heat of the sand ...
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1k views

Isentropic Processes

I'm having trouble understanding why reversible adiabatic processes are isentropic. I understand that in a reversible adiabatic process there is no heat exchange and so $dQ = TdS = 0$. However, if ...
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131 views

Eutectic systems behavior near 100%-0% composition and low temperature

I can't understand why in this phase diagram , in the area where the system is approaching the 100% $\alpha$ or 100% $\beta$ composition, the state is just a pure solid. I mean, where does the ...
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258 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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418 views

How cold should it be outside for a hot coffee mug to break?

So I like to go outside for a morning coffee with a cigarette. In winter here it's usually between -5C to -25C, and sometimes it gets down to -30C and colder. Assuming that my coffee is about 75-80C, ...
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1k views

How relative humidity and temperature affect rainfalls

The question is simple as stated in the title. How relative humidity and temperature affect rainfalls? I can't find a satisfatory answer in the web. Who can help me to understand me this relation?
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176 views

Minimal Maxwell's Demon

I would like to understand where the waste heat is generated in the Maxwell's demon problem. To this end I've come up with the simplest scenario I can think of. If my scenario is workable I am hoping ...
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1answer
261 views

Gas pressure equalisation: Where does the excess energy go?

Assume for purposes of discussion a closed container with a concentration of gas on one side and near-vacuum on the other. We could let the gas pressure equalise naturally, or we could construct a ...
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159 views

can hydrogen stay frozen in vacuum?

I've look into the hydrogen state diagram, and it seems that it can be frozen under pressure. Question: Does this mean that hydrogen cannot be kept frozen in a vacuum chamber?
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796 views

Physics of the electric hot plate

For an electronics experiment, I began wondering about the electric hot-plates (specifically the temperature dependence over time). If I were to measure the given temperature over time, I assume that ...
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627 views

Is it Possible to have Adiabatic Processes other than $PV^\gamma$ for the ideal Gas?

Is it possible to represent an adiabatic process for an ideal gas by a formula other than $PV^\gamma=Const$?: Relevant Considerations: We always need to connect a pair of arbitrary points/states ...
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539 views

Demonstrate magnets adhere to conservation of energy pursuant to the laws of thermodynamics

I am looking for a way to demonstrate that magnets adhere to the laws of thermodynamics, in particular the requirement that energy in a closed system be conserved. To adhere to the requirement that ...
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1answer
289 views

Why is the crust of my meat pie only slightly warm?

I just cooked a meat pie in the oven. Almost immediately after pulling it out of the oven, I felt that the crust was only slightly warm, but when I cut it open the filling felt very warm. I can't ...
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4k views

Why I will feel colder when I get out from a swimming pool? [duplicate]

A friend of mine told me that because water heat capacity is higher. He also mentioned that it was similar to alcohol on skin effect. Assume that there are 3 situations. 1. I did not get wet 2. I got ...
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1answer
297 views

Man on treadmill and energy/mass conservation

Suppose we put a very obese man inside a large air tight isolated room with a treadmill and he runs on the treadmill for 24 hours and at the end of the day he sees his weight has come down (mostly ...
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584 views

how does heat energy start to speed up a gas molecule?

If it was possible to place a single gas molecule in a cell and freeze it to near absolute zero. What would the molecule do as it thawed out? Would it translate the heat energy into it's electrons ...
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1answer
178 views

Is a closed system receiving heat guaranteed to have entropy below maximum?

Isolated system will preserve its entropy unchanged (for fully reversible system) or it will increase its entropy (for system with irreversible processes). For a closed system, it can receive energy ...
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4k views

How does smoke move in the air and how can I direct it so it will go to a place I want it to go?

Let's assume a close room with 1-2 people who only one of them smoking cigarette. What is the equation describe the smoking spreading? is it diffusion? what are the parameters is so? Is there a ...
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1k views

Understanding the Seebeck effect

Thermoelectricity is, as I understand it, the difference in voltage between the hot and cold ends of two dissimilar materials. If two materials are connected at two different junctions, the hot ...
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1answer
1k views

Heat exchange depending on coolant flow direction

Consider a simplest case of a heat exchanger - two parallel pipes of flowing liquids (say, hot and cold) that have physical contact along some part of their length. Hot water of a certain temperature ...
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82 views

In a gas of particles, how is the displacement vector related to the number density?

Suppose I have a gas of particles that is initially uniformly distributed so that the number density is $n_0$ (number of particles per unit volume), and then I displace the particles by the vector ...
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1k views

Evaporation from a capillary tube

Consider a capillary tube (say from a liquid / capillary thermometer), that means a tube of small internal diameter which holds liquid by capillary action . The tube is fulfilled with water and closed ...
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1k views

time dependence of temperature equalization

Suppose you have two thermodynamical systems $X_1$ and $X_2$ (for example water and air) with different temperatures ($T_1 > T_2$). Now put them into thermal contact. Is there a formula which ...
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1answer
61 views

Does relativity objectively define entropy?

In his undergraduate text "Spacetime Physics", Wheeler points out that there is always a fourth component to momentum and energy interactions, because the internal motion of the objects involved will ...
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77 views

Calculation of entropy change in irreversible cycles, meaning of $\delta Q/T$ in irreversible processes

Lets take the two cycles in the pictures working with an ideal gas. We perform one, and than perform the other. The cycle is made reversible by making the gas exchange heat with a heat bath having ...