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 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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1answer
173 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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250 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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157 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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708 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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604 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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530 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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266 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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292 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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565 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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165 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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3k 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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211 views

How much energy does lowering an object into a black hole generate?

An object of mass m is slowly lowered into a black hole of mass 1000 m. Is the amount of braking energy larger than $0.6 mc^2$? Now what if, after lowering the mass close to the event horizon, we ...
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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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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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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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40 views

Why should slope of pressure versus volume always be negative?

I read that the slope of the pressure, ($P$), versus volume ($V$) graph should always be negative for thermodynamic stability, but there was no further explanation in the text. Could someone give an ...
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3answers
56 views

Feasible way to cool water (ice) to temperatures around -20 degree celsius

Is there an easy way to cool water to temperatures around -20 or -30 degree celsius that is economically and technologically feasible for a high school student. Can it be done using typical household ...
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77 views

2nd law of thermodynamics - thought experiment

I have designed this simple thought experiment that seems to contradict 2nd law of thermodynamics. Could you please find a mistake in my reasoning? ...
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46 views

Planck's postulate for oscillators or for light?

I know that Planck originally postulated that the energy of an oscillator in a black body was quantised to $E=nh\nu$ but did he know at the time that this meant the energy of light was also quantised ...
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49 views

To find average speed of gas molecule when the temperature is incresed

We are given moles of gas let say $n$. Temperature is increased from $T_1$ to $T_2$. Volume is held constant at $V_0$. We need to find the average speed of gas molecule when the temperature $T_2$ is ...
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52 views

Any general method of determining changes in speed of sound with pressure?

I need to correct speed of sound measurements in various gases for changes in ambient pressure, typically 700-1100 mBar. Is there any general theoretical model available for this? Especially something ...
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90 views

Blackbody radiation and emissive power

According to blackbody radiation theory, and thanks to Planck, we now know that there is a energy density, $u(\lambda,T)$ [$J/m^3$], associated with a certain wavelength at a particular temperature. ...
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38 views

Steady State For An Air Conditioner

Here's the problem I'm trying to solve (from Blundell's Concepts In Thermal Physics): I just don't understand what "steady state" exactly means here. Does it mean that the temperature of the house ...
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60 views

Significance of Reversible and Irreversible Process

I would like to ask the following questions: What is the significance of reversible and irreversible nature of thermodynamic process? (I understand that reversible processes are quasi-static, ...
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69 views

What is a “fundamental thermodynamic relation”?

My professor handed me a quiz in which he said something like (I don't remember exactly) "write down the four fundamental thermodynamic relations for $A,G,H,U$". I showed the differential elements of ...
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86 views

Is Carnot engine the only reversible engine?

Is Carnot engine the only form of reversible engine? Is it possible to have a different form of reversible engine that goes through different processes? For a standard Otto cycle working with ideal ...
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41 views

How are specific volumes accurately measured experimentally?

In every thermodynamics textbook there are tables containing the specific volume of various fluids at different temperatures and pressures. My question is, how is this data obtained experimentally? ...
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70 views

Is placing a heater in the coldest part of a room the most efficient place to put it?

I've noticed that stores blow hot air in a "sheet" by doors and windows, which is "where cold air enters". I assume they do this because it saves money and/or keeps the store a uniform temperature. ...
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3answers
101 views

Is heat a property of Something?

There are some unique properties of things in our world. For example, charge is a property of mass. Is heat a unique property of something? Can a vacuum/void have a finite amount of heat in it? What ...
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44 views

Energy Flux due to Diffusion

Per the Fundamental Thermodynamic Relation, I know that the chemical potential of $i$ represents the energy which would added to a system if a particle of $i$ were added with all other system ...
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54 views

Does the conductivity of a wire in a vacuum decrease over time?

Does the conductivity of a wire in a vacuum decrease over time, say over the period of years or decades? In other words: Does current degrade a wire, making it less conductive? If so, by how much, and ...
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84 views

Why do windows fog quickly?

I'm from Bogotá, Colombia. In my city the temperature is all the year between 12ºC and 25ºC (bus mostly under 19ºC) and when I drive and it's raining, there is accumulation of fog on the windows, but ...
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186 views

Why does a substance expands upon freezing? What conditions necessitate this?

Why does a substance expands upon freezing? What conditions necessitate this? For example, how does the slope of sublimation or fusion curve in a P-T diagram affect this?
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Derivation of the Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution

We're currently deriving the Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution, but I'm struggling to squeeze out the right answer. For the first exercise we have to derive the fraction of molecules travelling ...
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174 views

Expectation value of $a_i^\dagger a_i$ for thermal density matrix

Suppose we have some heat bath with Hamiltonian, $$H=\sum_n \left(a^{\dagger}_na_n+\frac{1}{2}\right)\hbar\omega_n$$ and a density matrix $\rho=Z\exp(-\beta H)$ for some normalisation $Z$. ...
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129 views

Thermodynamics only deals with homogenous systems?

In Thermodynamics quantities like pressure, temperature and entropy are associated with overall states of a macroscopic system. In that case, we do not talk about "the quantity $Q$ at the point $p$ of ...
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55 views

Thermometer reading

I quickly plunged a room-temperature thermometer into very hot water, the mercury level went down briefly before going up to a final reading. Why?
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55 views

A gas close to zero Kelvin

Consider an adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas that work is done against friction or a piston. Since no heat exchange can occur the gas keep on losing energy and its temperature decreases and the gas ...
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57 views

How much electricity could be generated by cloths made of thermocouples?

Lets say that we made a glove, shirt, pants and a hat out of the most effective thermocouple material available today. How much electricity would be generated by each, by a healthy person, on a cool ...
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285 views

Heat equation: boundary conditions?

Say we have a bar centered at $x=0$, that is heated. We have the 1D Heat equation which we can solve to find a parabolic temperature profile : $$\kappa \frac{d^2 T}{d x^2}=-\frac{Q}{L S}$$ with ...
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212 views

role of entropy in gibbs free energy intuition

I have looked at various derivations of the Gibbs free energy equation and the underlying definition of the gibbs free energy. However I have been unable to attain direct insight/intuition over the ...
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100 views

Can 'Backradiation' warm its own source? [duplicate]

Ok, although this question arises out of the global warming debate, this is a question purely for physicists and not intended to branch into that particular debate. We are told that LWIR from the ...
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4answers
246 views

What exactly is temperature in the Gibbs free energy?

In equation of Gibbs free energy change $(\Delta G) = (\Delta H)-T(\Delta S)$, is $T$ the system's or surrounding's temperature? Edit:Oh sorry I am not clear earlier now I get clear question.I know ...
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222 views

System in mechanical but not thermal equilibrium

Let's say there are two systems which can interact by a moving wall but cannot exchange heat. Then the system will be in mechanical, but not necessarily in thermal equilibrium. The maximality of ...
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2answers
113 views

Container divided in two parts with ideal gas

I wanted to ask your help with the following problem: Consider a closed container, that is, with insulated walls impervious, and rigid. The container is divided into two parts by a wall having the ...
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83 views

Details in the derivation of the second law starting from the phase space volume

I had a question on one of the details of the derivation of the second law of thermodynamics starting from the phase space volume. I'll type out what I understand so far: Letting the Hamiltonian ...