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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Forms of the first law of thermodynamics

The first law of thermodynamics states that $$\frac{D}{Dt}(K+U)=W+H,$$ where K is the kinetic energy, U is the internal energy, W is the power of the external forces and H is the heat flux. I have ...
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146 views

Optimal way to heat liquid from the sun?

I understand that one way to tell how much a liquid will be heated up by a remote heat source is by looking at its color. I assume clear and colorless heats up least, then white, other colors and last ...
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97 views

Why does the water diffuse at right angles in my coffee? [closed]

I purchase an espresso shot each morning at my local coffee shop, and I usually water it down slightly to take the edge off as well as to cool it. Recently, I have noticed that when I pour the cold ...
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244 views

A really simple question about heat transfer? [closed]

In rectangular coordinates, the heat conduction vector can be expressed in terms of its components $$\vec{\dot{Q_n}}=\dot{Q_x}\vec{i}+\dot{Q_y}\vec{j}+\dot{Q_z}\vec{k}$$ Please explain the meaning of ...
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3k views

Do Microwave oven cook times grow linearly with Wattage? Calculating optimal cook time

So this is a completely random and trivial question that was prompted by looking at my microwave oven and the back of a TV dinner and my google searching failed to produce a meaningful answer so ...
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3k views

Why the heat flux vector at a point must be perpendicular to the temperature isothermal surface? Is it a definition or a deduction?

Before the question: I am working on numerical calculation of three dimension parabolic equation that based on Fourier's Law of which I am a little confused. Here comes the law in modern mathematics ...
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2answers
337 views

How to reconcile the two definitions of work? (mechanical and thermodynamical)

When studying classical mechanics, work is defined as: $W_M=\int F_{tot} \hspace{2 mm} dx$. However, for thermodynamics, work is defined as: $W_T=\int -F_{ext} \hspace{2 mm} dx$. I'm having trouble ...
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94 views

How to homegrow large, momocrystalline water ice crystals

This is a follow up to this question:Can one get clear ice crystals from a dirty suspension?. How could one grow a large - meaning visible with the naked eye - water ice crstal with common household ...
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730 views

Having a problem about entropy, thermodynamics

I am a high school student. So, while studying about thermodynamics, I got a little curious about entropy. As I read, entropy is the rate of change of chaos. So, if the entropy change of a system is ...
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2answers
655 views

Can a hybrid vehicle ever be more efficient than a hydrocarbon-only vehicle built with the same parts?

Based on the laws of thermodynamics, shouldn't it be theoretically impossible for a non plug-in hybrid vehicle to ever be more fuel-efficient than a vehicle that connects the same engine directly to ...
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63 views

heat spread from hot coil: diffusion, radiation?

When modeling the heat spread from a hot object through a vacuum (or a gas), what is the dominant physical process for heat energy transportation? Thermal diffusion, thermal radiation, a mix of the ...
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825 views

How hot does the tip of a pencil get while writing?

When writing with a pencil, there seems to be quite a lot of friction - which seems like it would induce heat. How hot would the tip of a #2 pencil get writing on normal copy paper?
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86 views

Mass fraction of fuel on a fuel droplet surface

Concerning combustion of fuel droplets: Why is the mass fraction of fuel on a fuel droplet surface slightly less than one? It is known that the temperature is below the boiling point at the fuel ...
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557 views

Newton's law of cooling: changing temperature of environment

A metal ball having temperature of $80^\circ C$ is placed into $m$ grams of water at $0^\circ C$. After ten minutes, it was found that the temperature of ball and water are $60^\circ C$ and ...
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1answer
63 views

Function for heating of a planet by its star

I'm looking for an algorithmic model which will gives rough estimate of the average temperature of a planet's atmosphere (good enough to say whether there will be liquid water anywhere, or if metals ...
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1k views

How does the boiling time depend on the number of eggs

My nephew showed me an exercise from his school-textbook about boiling eggs. Here is the exercise (translated from german): To make one hard-boiled egg in a pot of water one has to put it for 8 ...
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1k views

Clear up confusion about the meaning of entropy

So I though, and was told, that entropy is the amount of disorder in a system. Specifically the example of heat flow and it flows to maximize entropy. To me this seemed odd. This seemed more ordered ...
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262 views

Heat transfer in a pipe

I have a gas (assuming air) at T = 500 K that enters a cylindrical pipe. The outlet target temperature is 330K. There will be heat transfer via: Forced convection from the gas to the inside of the ...
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3answers
106 views

Consistent application of Microscopic evolution with the definition of Macrostates?

How does one use the concept of microstate evolution and definition of macrostate in a consistent manner. As my understanding goes the thermodynamic concepts are defined in equilibrium. How does one ...
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262 views

Dry Ice in Liquid States [closed]

If I melt the dry ice in a pool. I am thinking that Can I have bath without getting wet by melted dry ice?
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265 views

Conceptual difficulty in understanding Fourier's Law of heat conduction

I am having a bit of difficulty understanding the statement of Fourier's law of heat conduction. As mentioned in Georg Joos , Theoretical Physics The quantity of heat passing per second through ...
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1answer
109 views

Solid in Liquid Heat Transfer

If there is a solid immersed in a large (but finite) pool of water, where the solid has temperature $T_s$ and the water has temperature $T_w$, with $T_w>T_s$, how can I calculate $T_s(t)$ and ...
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1answer
632 views

Do metals generally lose more heat by convection than non-metals?

I've been experimenting with radiative cooling lately and in my mind convection is always an enemy (especially forced convection since the modules are outdoors). Looking at Newton's law of cooling, ...
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118 views

Second law of thermodynamics

I think this is a simple question. If I have that $E(L)=\tau L$ and we are told that $\tau=BTL$ would this mean that $E=BTL^2$ implies $dE=(2BTL)dL$ or should I sub $\tau$ straight into the second law ...
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346 views

Does fire create air resistance?

Does fire create air resistance/drag? So, for example, would it be harder to swing a flaming sword than a normal one?
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668 views

Minimization of energy and maximization of entropy

Are maximization of entropy and minimization of energy equivalent? Or are they contrary? Why should the thermodynamic potentials such as $G$, $A$, etc, be minimum at equilibrium? I am confused. ...
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229 views

Why increase pressure to go from liquid to steam?

Assume the following phase diagram $T-H$ of water At a nuclear engineering course, I was told that in order to increase the performance of a pressurized water reactor, one has to increase the ...
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205 views

Adding heat to a system doesn't equal the work done by gas?

So, I answered a physics question for a class that goes as follows: A gas in a cylinder is kept at a constant pressure of $250000\: \mathrm{Pa}$ while $300\: \mathrm{kJ}$ of heat are added to it, ...
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404 views

How long does the 2nd pot of water take to boil right after the 1st one finishes?

Say I have a pot of water that boils in 20 minutes, at whatever temperature. If I leave the fire on, take the pot off, pour the hot water into a container, refill the pot with tap water and put it ...
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2k views

Physical interpretation of different boundary conditions for heat equation

When solving the heat equation, $$ \partial_t u -\Delta u = f \text{ on } \Omega $$ what physical situations are represented by the following boundary conditions (on $\partial \Omega$)? $u=g$ ...
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229 views

Constant Pressure lines in evaporation diagram

Assume that there is the following $T-H$ phase diagram with the constant pressure lines. Which is greater preasure? The preasure drops as we move to lower temperatures (i.e. from top to bottom)? ...
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2answers
676 views

Why isn't the Earth's core temperature the average of its surface temperatures?

Assuming that the earth is spherical, that its temperature is continuous, and that some other more or less realistic conditions hold, we might think that the Earth's core temperature should be about ...
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96 views

Finding cooling time using an impulse of heat energy

A chip has a thermal resistance of 0.007 K/J s and thermal capacitance of 1.6 J/K. You give it an impulse of heat equal to 100 J. How long does it take for the chip to cool to within 10% of the ...
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81 views

Calculate heat loss of aquifer with unknown shape

I am trying to calculate the heat loss of an aquifer. An aquifer is basically a hot-cold storage $80\: \mathrm{meters}$ under the ground. It is an open system and utilizes groundwater. By pumping for ...
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302 views

Triple point temperature and freezing point

Why does the triple point temperature have very similar values to the freezing point, in most substances?
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2answers
118 views

Help me check units [closed]

I need to check units in this equation, I know, that there's Pa in the numerator, but what about the denominator? $p_1$ - pressure in [Pa] $T_1$, $T_2$ - temperature in [K] $\rho_w$ - density $g$ - ...
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2answers
3k views

Why is a degree Celsius exactly the same as a Kelvin?

How on earth is it possible that the difference between two temperatures in Celsius and Kelvin is exactly the same. Given the historical definition of Celsius, I find it hard to believe that this is ...
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4answers
793 views

Can a single molecule have a temperature?

A show on the weather channel said that as a water molecule ascends in the atmosphere it cools. Does it make sense to talk about the temperature of a single molecule?
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93 views

Entropy of Black Hole

What is the relation between the entropy of rotating and non rotating Black hole? Which one's entropy is greater?
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118 views

How long would it take for a container in vacuum to leak half of its air? [closed]

Let's say I know the size of the container, size of the hole the air leaks through, pressure the air is under and temperature of the air if that helps anything. Is it possible to calculate this only ...
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4answers
301 views

Physical interpretation of changing variables $S(T,V)$ to $S(T,p)$

I'm confused in this situation. In an example of this book (Example 16.5. Thermal Physics, by Blundell) they ask to prove that $$C_P - C_V = VT\frac{\alpha^2}{\beta_T}\tag{1}$$ but using the fact ...
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1answer
591 views

Microwave oven heating time

It's logical to think that the time it takes a microwave to heat the food would be proportional to the mass heated. But since a microwave is based on dielectric heating, I think that if you increase ...
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1answer
1k 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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282 views

How does the volume change affect an adiabatic process?

A gas consisting of rigid diatomic molecules was initially under standard conditions. Then the gas was compressed adiabatically, 5 times the original volume. Find the mean KE of rotating molecules ...
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2answers
114 views

Dividing values with units

I'm reading about the subject of heat in a basic physics book. If I am not mistaken the formula to work out how much energy is required to increase the temperature of water is ...
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1answer
292 views

A Calorimetry Problem

I have a question in calorimetry from an old competitive exam. The question is: The temperature of $100$ grams of water is to be raised from $24 ^\circ$C to $90 ^\circ$C by adding steam to it. ...
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2answers
402 views

How would a change in ambient temp affect a radiator?

I'm curious if you have a radiator or say a block of metal (lets say it's copper since it has the highest thermal conductivity) and on one side is a processor producing heat. At idle the processor ...
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1answer
352 views

Does increasing the pressure of the gas in a container by pumping gas into it increase temperature?

Basis is the ideal gas law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideal_gas_law This law only states a mathematical relationship between many variables. It does not state what happens if one of the variables ...
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3answers
519 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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Why is it faster (as in proportion to volume) to boil 4 cups of water than to boil 2 cups?

I did an experiment where I boiled two cups (500ml) of water in a kettle, and it took 1:30 minutes to reach around 98 C, average. However, when I boiled 4 cups of water, (1L) it only took me 2:30 ...