Tagged Questions

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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What is the deepest cause of the such high specific heat capacity of water?

Yes, I know about the hydrogen bridges. But I think, it isn't the deepest cause. Anyway, they are only second-order bindings, although quite strong. I think, somehow should have the water a ...
0answers
144 views

Building free energy directly from lagrangian

Energy can be built from lagrangian when considering the symmetry of time $(\frac{\partial L}{\partial t}=0)$. Free energy is a generalization of energy when the system exchanges heat with the ...
0answers
313 views

How much energy does it take to cook a steak?

Grilling in the park today I started to wonder just how implausible a portable battery-powered grill would be. There are of course a lot of parameters in this question, so let's narrow it down for ...
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422 views

Heat transfer from hot water through a copper pipe to oil in a tank

I want to build a geyser attached to a pump with copper tubing running into an oil tank. This is done because the oil solidifies at a temperature below 15 degrees Celsius. I have done a few ...
1answer
182 views

Thermodynamics, chaperones : How to model polymer fragmentation

Living polymers are well described by equilibrium statistical physics. Now I would like to consider a case were living polymers undergo fragmentation due to chaperones. I can think of a kinetic ...
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32 views

Experimental results regarding non-extensivity in small systems

From a statistical mechanics point of view, the extensivity of thermodynamics arises from the fact that we can neglect interaction terms in the Hamiltonian. This allows us to infer that when we put ...
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144 views

Thermodynamics - convection current

please could someone help explain the mechanism of a convection current as I keep finding conflicting explanations. Is a convection current caused by differences in density or differences in pressure? ...
2answers
153 views

Pressure versus Volume system problem

A rigid air tight container of volume 1.5 m$^3$ is filled with a gas of density 8 kg/m$^3$. The container has a density meter that allows us to watch the changes in density in the gas in the ...
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65 views

Thermalising a sub-system of a larger, interacting system

I'm considering a joint system consisting of a spin-1/2 particle (qubit) and a spin-l particle (reference) coupled via a Hamiltonian $H_0$. At a certain point I want to couple the qubit to a bosonic ...
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166 views

“Single-shot” Heat engine efficiency limits

The sun is 5778K and Earth is ~290K. Using the sun as the hot reservoir and earth as a cold reservoir we get 95% Carnot efficiency. However, the solar power efficiency limit is only 86%, see: ...
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226 views

Second derivative of vapor pressure from a cubic equation of state

It is quite easy to compute the first derivative of vapor pressure with respect to temperature from a cubic equation of state at least at the critical point since there is a continuity with the ...
2answers
6k views

Is thermal/heat energy the same thing as internal energy?

I learned that internal energy of an object is the sum of the kinetic energy and potential energy of the molecules of the object. Is this energy the same thing as the heat energy the object contains?
3answers
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Distinguishable, Indistinguishable Paramagnetic Ideal Gas

In the canonical ensemble, the partition function for an ideal gas is given by: $$\frac{Z}{N!}$$ The factor $N!$ accounts for the indistinguishability of the particles of the ideal gas. What ...
2answers
4k views

Time required for water to freeze

recently I was wondering if there is any specific formula in order to calculate how long it takes for certain liquids to freeze (especially water). I know this depends on: the volume of the liquid, ...
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139 views

Thermal imaging camera [closed]

I'm making a tea bag experiment (Make a hollow cylindrical tube from light paper e.g. from an empty tea bag. When the top end of the cylinder is lit, it takes off.) I need to know how hot air is ...
1answer
396 views

Does a negative line tension in a 3-fluid immiscible interface make sense?

This question is inspired by this question/answer pair: Is this formula for the energy of a configuration of 3 fluids physically reasonable? Consider three immiscible fluids forming contact surfaces, ...
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870 views

How do I determine the Internal Energy of ammonia at a pressure in temperature when the steam table doesn't say it

I just bought a steam table for my thermodynamics class since they don't allow use to use the one from the book for the tests. This one is different from the one in my textbook as it doesn't give the ...
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823 views

How do I derive the critical temperature for bose condensation in two dimensions?

In class we derived the 3D case, but there's a step I don't understand:  N = g \cdot {V \over (2 \pi \hbar)^3} \cdot \int\limits_{0}^{\infty}{1 \over{e^{\left( E_p \over{K_B T}\right)}-1}} d^3 p = ...
2answers
192 views

Bose-Einstein condensation and phase transition

I would like to ask the following question for which I cannot find a definite answer in the literature. Of what ORDER is the phase transition leading to Bose-Einstein condensation for a ideal and ...
1answer
202 views

Amount of energy to separate Gases - relationship to concentration

I want to understand the efficiencies of separating mixed gases, and for that I want to understand the thermodynamic limit case. Looking at the wikipedia page for entropy of mixing, I find the ...
1answer
499 views

Coffee cooling in a cup

Will coffee in two differant size styrofoam cups in the same room conditions cool at the same rate? One cup is 8 oz. and the other would be 12 oz.
2answers
2k views

Will a microwave heat sand?

I want to cook Turkish coffee on heated sand at school. I have difficulty accessing some easier method of heating, so I was going to try to heat sand in a microwave. It was then pointed out to me that ...
3answers
2k views

Could life survive a pole shift caused by an asteroid collision?

Could life on earth survive a large pole shift caused by an asteroid collision? I became aware that there are people who believe that the earth's pole suddenly shifts. That is, its rotational ...
2answers
938 views

What's the best (practical!) shape to maximize the rate of heat transfer?

I want to cool down a lot of water with a huge ice cube. What's the best shape to maximize the rate of heat transfer?
3answers
244 views

Why does the system move until equal temperatures are obtained?

In my college level thermodynamics class, the teacher gave us the example of a closed system which consisted of a box thermally insulated. A piston fully divides the box in two parts, and each is ...
4answers
816 views

I don't understand why a cavity with a hole is a black body [duplicate]

It makes no sense to me that a cavity with a hole is identical to a black body. Sure, the cavity will probably be a near perfect absorber, but I don’t see how it will be a perfect emitter as well. ...
6answers
15k views

Why does a human body only emit infra red radiation and not other types of electromagnetic radiation?

What causes humans to emit infra red radiation and why don't we also emit other types of electromagnetic radiation such as ultra violet or microwave? Sunlight contains UV and our body takes it in, but ...
1answer
332 views

Is it possible that Atomic Electron Probability Density is a result of Heat?

The Schrödinger Equation provides a Probability Density map of the atom. In light of that, are either of the following possible: The orbital/electron cloud converges to a 2d surface without heat ...
2answers
3k views

Liquid with freezing point above 0 Celsius that could be use at ice rinks

Please help me with an answer to my dilemma: Is there a liquid that could be used to fill an ice rink (non-explosive, non-poisonous, etc), and have the freezing point above 0 Celsius?
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401 views

Why does earth cool? [duplicate]

This question is boggling me for some time. We know that heat can be transferred from matter to matter and heat is nothing more than tiny atoms vibration intensity (correct me if I'm wrong). But space ...
3answers
844 views

Thermal Conductivity of Metals

My textbook says on conduction: These 'free' electrons can rapidly carry energy from the hotter to the cooler regions of the metal, so metals are generally good conductors of heat. A metal rod at ...
4answers
689 views

Is there any optical component that uniformizes the incoming light?

Is there any optical component in existence that uniformizes randomly pointing rays?
2answers
1k views

Why is there a Global Minimum for the Morse Potential?

For Diatomic molecules, the Morse potential describes their potential energy as a function of separation distance between the two particles. My question is, what is the explanation of of the dip ...
4answers
1k views

Running a stirling engine in reverse?

I just bought a small stirling engine which converts heat flow down a temperature gradient into circular motion of a little wheel. If I turn the wheel with my finger, will the engine generate a ...
4answers
10k views

Internal energy according to the van der Waals equation

I am trying to derive the internal energy of a gas which obeys the van der Waals equation. I have however encountered some problems. I calculate the integral of $dU$ from $V=0,T=0$ to $V=V, T=\infty$ ...
1answer
170 views

greenhouse trap and perpetual motion

Greenhouse gases keep the planets warmer than they normally would. But, as with electrons trapping photons, I feel that thermodynamics is violated here. Is the violation allowed if energy is trapped ...
2answers
1k views

How does blow-drying a mirror keep it from steaming up again?

After a hot shower, the mirror in my bathroom steams up. When I try to clear it with a towel, it immediately refogs. Yet once I use my hair-dryer, it will clear the fog and the mirror will stay clear. ...
3answers
115 views

The temperature in space is about 3K, however there are almost no atoms in space. How can there be residual heat?

My understanding is that heat is essentially atomic vibrations. If there are almost no atoms, how can there be residual heat? Also, as I understand in space there is no heat transfer via convection ...
1answer
520 views

If a microwave oven disk rotates to warm up food, why doesn't it go up/down/sideways?

This has been in my mind for a while... Well, actually everytime I heat any food with a greater amount of liquid in it: a microwave oven warms up food by inducing polar molecules in the food to ...
4answers
507 views

Why does a bubble take a spherical shape?

I suspect this has something to do with thermodynamics and the isoperimetric inequality and I'm interested in a mathematical derivation of this result.
5answers
8k views

How does Infrared Relate to heat?

I never understood the relationship between Infrared and Heat. Is IR emitted when heat is generated, is heat generated when IR is made, and how do the two relate?
5answers
689 views

If I replace all my lights with LEDs will my heating costs increase?

A number of nations are passing bills to phase out incandescent light bulbs. The thinking is that the tungsten filament is an inefficient method of turning electricity into light, the rest of the ...
3answers
388 views

Why is there more steam when water is subject to less fire?

When I cook things, such as scallop and salmon, I found that the food may be more tender if I wait till the water boils (at 100 C) and immediately turn the fire lower so that the water is not bubbling ...
2answers
443 views

Thermal expansion is an expression of which conservation laws?

Many objects get larger as they heat up and contract as they cool down. Which conservation laws are applied to describe this phenomenon? How do they interact with each other to produce this effect?
1answer
208 views

Reference paper to support information — energy relation $\left(kT \ln2 \rm\frac{J}{bit}\right)\;.$

In answer to Maxwell's Demon Constant (Information-Energy equivalence) there is stated that one bit of information allows to perform $kT \cdot \ln2$ Joules of work. Which paper supports the ...
3answers
1k views

Opposite of Cryogenics

Cryogenics is related to very low temperatures, so, what is the term when referring to very high temperatures?
4answers
893 views

Will the earth never cool, but only get hotter?

Since the earth is in a vacuum and therefore there is no thermal transfer of heat to anything else, how can it even cool down? It seems like its average temperature would always be constant, ignoring ...
3answers
180 views

A physical explanation for negative kelvin temperatures

Just to get the thoughts rolling... Consider a two state system with discrete energy levels $E_1$ and $E_2$ where $E_2 > E_1$ which contains $N$ particles. We can easily deduce that the state of ...
1answer
275 views

Making fire using a filled water bottle

I have seen videos where a fire was started using a water bottle filled with water. I guess the bottle acts like a convex lens that converges light to a focal point to start a fire. But why does water ...
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between $Q=\Delta U+W$ and $\Delta U=Q+W$?

Is $Q=\Delta U+W$ for when the the work is done from the system while $\Delta U=Q+W$ is for when the work is done by the system? Will anybody explain this to me, please? When do we use \$Q=\Delta ...