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 a mono-atomic crystal layer (2D) can't be stable?

According to Peierls and Landau, 2D crystals were thermodynamically unstable. They can't exist! Of course, this theory was disapproved in 2004 (example: graphene). What is the general definition of ...
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79 views

Why does most of the heat transferred on Earth come from the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum?

Why does the most of the heat transferred on Earth come from infrared part of electromagnetic spectrum?
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1answer
306 views

When the matter is heated does the photon absorbed by electrons of atoms or by atoms themself?

When the matter is heated does the photon absorbs by electrons of atoms or by atoms themself?
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29 views

Heat energy in special theory of relativity [duplicate]

Is heat energy invariant under Lorentz transformation? If so then how?
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2answers
4k views

Would being underwater help survive a nuclear bomb?

If I jump in my pool, on the river near my house knowing that a nuclear bomb, or atomic or H-Bomb exploded around 10 km from my house, would I survive? The way I see it is that water will protect me ...
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1answer
107 views

Why are intensive variables easier to control than extensive?

In a IUPAC Technical Report (Alberty, Use of Legender Transforms in Chemical Thermodynamics, pdf) I have found the following assertion (p. 1359): "Intensive variables are introduced because they ...
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86 views

Cooling power for cloud chamber

I'd like to build a small Peltier cell cooled cloud chamber. The cold surface would be a copper sheet with a surface of 200x200 millimeters. Is there a way to even guess the cooling power needed to ...
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147 views

In thermodynamic systems why must the free energy of the system be minimized?

Is this somehow a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics?
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589 views

Is there an upper limit to temperature in thermodynamics or statistical mechanics

In many presentations of statistical mechanics where we have a system of particles having mass, such as the molecules of an ideal gas, the temperature is often equated to the average relative velocity ...
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490 views

Isobaric expansion work, W = p(V2-V1) [closed]

Isobaric process, so $W = p\Delta V$ according to my book. We have 10 kg of saturated steam at $x = 0.9$, P = 200 kPa. We add work at a rate of $700 W$ and we're interested in the time it takes. We ...
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1answer
148 views

consequences of universe in which second law of thermodynamics does not hold [closed]

What would happen if the second law of thermodynamics was not there for governing in every day processes. Can a universe exist and evolve if the second law of thermodynamics does not exist in first ...
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1answer
73 views

Thermodynamic entropy vs. quantum mechanical entropy

Is there a fundamental difference in the definition of entropy when considering the classical thermodynamic picture vs. the quantum mechanical picture, or are they both fundamentally equivalent?
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2answers
102 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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1answer
171 views

What precisely does the 2nd law of thermo state, considering that entropy depends on how we define macrostate?

Boltzmann's definition of entropy is $\sigma = \log \Omega$, where $\Omega$ is the number of microstates consistent with a given macrostate. If I understand correctly, this means that it only makes ...
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634 views

Quantum entaglement and the arrow of time

I have seen several claims to that quantum mechanics is required to explain the arrow of time which I take to mean the macroscopic irreversibility of physical systems. This is presumably to resolve ...
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0answers
63 views

Proving $RTln(a_i)$ equal to non PV work done by system,where $a_i$ is activity

First of all many here will might say that it is Chemistry question.If you think so then read this article and then answer question. Question is --- We know chemical potential is defined as $\mu_i ...
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1answer
118 views

Thermal resistance of thermal interface materials?

Thermal conductivity are often used for surfaces between the computer chip and the heat sink to increase heat transfer and they want high thermal conductivity to decrease the thermal resistance. By ...
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1answer
1k views

Formula for molar specific heat capacity in polytropic process

I found this formula for a polytropic process, defined by $PV^n = {\rm constant}$, in a book: $$C = \frac R{\gamma-1} + \frac R{1-n} $$ where $C$ is molar specific heat and $\gamma$ is adiabatic ...
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0answers
59 views

Chemical potential of photons [duplicate]

Why do photons have zero chemical potential and what is its the physical significance? From what I know the chemical potential could be interpreted as the energy per unit particle that is put into a ...
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2answers
163 views

Heat flow in a hollow cylinder

Consider a hollow cylinder of different outer radius and inner radius and two different temperatures are maintained at the outer and inner surfaces such that inner temperature is higher. Because of ...
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1answer
358 views

Is there a true parallel between Gibbs' phase rule and Euler's polyhedral formula?

Gibbs' phase rule states: $$F=C-P+2$$ where $F$ is number of degrees of freedom, $C$ is number of components, $P$ is number of phases. Euler's polyhedral formula states: $$V+F-E=2$$ where $V$ is ...
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1answer
78 views

Free Energy, Avialable Work in a reversible process

I was reading the Wikipedia page on Helmoltz Free Energy, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmholtz_free_energy, and run across a point I cannot unravel. The discussion goes as follows, I reproduce it ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the difference between mechanical and thermodynamic pressure?

To start with I know thermodynamics deals with processes at equilibrium. Hence the thermodynamic pressure should most likely be the pressure of a fluid at equilibrium. I'm not sure if a fluid flow ...
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1answer
368 views

Why doesn't gravity ruin satellites?

Recently I watched a documentary about Io, a moon around Jupiter. Io has volcanic activity even though it is small and can't retain heat well because gravity from Jupiter and a nearby moon cause it to ...
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3answers
257 views

Why is adiabatic process isentropic?

I have read that adiabatic process is isentropic because there is no heat exchange in an adiabatic process and thus no change in entropy. But my question is - Even in adiabatic process, work can be ...
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1answer
200 views

Boundary conditions for the heat equation when solving a mass density gradient

I'm working with a mass density gradient with length $L$ and I'm trying to solve the heat equation in 1-D (mass diffusion equation, $\partial_t\rho(t,x)=D\Delta\rho(t,x)$), but I'm not sure which ...
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1answer
33 views

fusing two air containers with fixed pressures $p_1,p_2$ and temperatures $T_1, T_2$, what end-result $T$ and $p$ will be?

Let's say that I have two boxes with both volumes equal $V$, filled with an air. Air in first box have pressure $p_1$ and temperature $T_1$, likewise air in second box have pressure $p_2$ and ...
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2answers
215 views

Temperature in an isobaric process

I have a certain conceptual issue - I'm solving heat engine problems and I found something difficult to understand. Let's take an isobaric part of a cycle of an engine, let's say that the ideal gas is ...
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1answer
37 views

Director field fluctuations in a liquid crystal in a magnetic field

If we consider the Frank elastic free energy in the equal constants limit (for more details, see here Chapter 4.1.) with an external magnetic field, we have $$ F = \frac{1}{2}\int \text{d}^3 r\left ( ...
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2answers
90 views

What is the principle of equivalence in thermodynamics?

I've been searching for this for a while. There is a principle of equivalence in general relativity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivalence_principle But I need the principle of equivalence in ...
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1answer
237 views

How to use specific heats and temperature change in a system to calculate mass?

In a system where multiple liquids and solids are mixed together with different specific heats at different initial temperatures, reaching an equilibrium temperature, how do all of these things relate ...
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1answer
495 views

Latent heat of vaporization

The molecular weight of water is 18.015 gram. The number of moles of water in one liter (1000 gram) will be: $3.34\times 10^{25}$ molecules (in 1kg). We know that latent heat of vaporization of water ...
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2answers
2k views

Why does an electric motor burn up when you physically stop it?

As an electric motor spins, the energy from the electricity is 'conducted' to the rotor by the magnetic fields. However, when the motor is stopped, the energy becomes heat and burns up to motor. ...
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61 views

Radiation heat transfer

I'm looking at the radiosity equations for heat transfer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiosity_(heat_transfer)#Radiosity_method Specifically, I'm hesitant to accept the equation: $$ \dot Q_i = ...
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1answer
488 views

If fans increase the heat of the air and this DIY AC decreases it, why don't they neutralize eachother?

Please try to answer in layman terms, i am only starting to study thermodynamics (And physics) In my book one of the curiosity parts gives that fans don't actually cool the room but by hitting the ...
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5answers
24k views

Does wrapping a wet paper towel around a glass bottle really speed up the cooling process?

There are claims like this one that you can improve the cooling speed of beverages when you put them wrapped in a wet paper towel inside the refrigerator/freezer. I've just tried it by myself and ...
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2answers
71 views

Heating a black body

By definition, Black body has absotivity=emmisstivity=1. This means the black body radiates all energy it accepts. Does this mean the black body cant be heated?
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1answer
310 views

How to solve the heat equation for compound materials with different heat conductivities numerically?

I'm solving the heat equation with time dependent boundary conditions numerically in a 2D system using the ADI scheme. For the purpose of this question, let's assume a constant heat conductivity and ...
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24 views

Time for which a drop stays in the leidenfrost point

Is there any way to find out the time required for a drop of given dimensions to vaporize after attaining Leidenfrost point?
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1answer
163 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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1answer
64 views

In what forms do fire energy transfer in common situations

Yesterday I was standing by the campfire. I used to think that campfire heat carried to me only by air. It was heating my face too much, so I blocked it with my hand just like blocking the sun. Then ...
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1answer
101 views

Thermodynamic relations

I'm asked to establish the following relations: $\left( \frac{\partial C_V}{\partial V} \right)_{T,N} = \frac{T}{N} \left( \frac{\partial^2 P}{\partial T^2} \right)_{V,N} $ $\left( \frac{\partial ...
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1answer
133 views

Quantum Fourier Transform and Entropy

QFT is a nonlocal unitary transformation and so can generate entanglement in a system. It means a separable pure state can be converted into an entangled pure state. Now since the presence of ...
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0answers
94 views

Could water physically makeup the core of a planet or otherwise large celestial mass?

Knowing very little about the nature of water, wondering how it might behave at the centre of a planet or centre of an another massive gravitational body. Could water take such pressures or might it ...
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3answers
485 views

Energy Analysis of Niagara Falls in Linus Pauling's “General Chemistry”

I just started reading Linus Pauling's "General Chemistry" and the first example confuses me. He writes: Example 1-1. Niagara Falls (Horseshoe) is 160 feet high. How much warmer is the water at ...
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2answers
54 views

Is there an analogue to the role of vapor in liquids and gases, but for solids and liquids?

It seems common for an ordered phase to have some amount of disorder present. For example, the average moment of a ferromagnet is less than maximum except at T=0 due to the presence of fluctuations. ...
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1answer
37 views

How to increase temperature of small mass using large mass of lesser temperature?

I know that heat flow from higher temperature to lower temperature, but theoretically, is it possible to build heat pump that can move energy from ocean which are at ~295 kelvin to a small boiler ...
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221 views

Why aren't we surrounded by Black holes?

The Bekenstein bound is a limit to the amount of entropy a thermodynamical system can have. The bound is given by the following expression: \begin{equation} S \leq \frac{2 \pi k R E}{\hbar c} ...
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How much electricity can be produced by my thermoelectric generator?

I am using a thermoelectric cooler from a pc's heatsink to produce electricity. Its size is 30mm by 30mm. I will cool it on one side at -10 degree Celsius and the other at 24 degree Celsius. Can ...
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1answer
273 views

Time to heat/cool a room

So, I have a basic, very basic, understanding of thermodynamics. I don't take it until next semester. I'm attempting to write a program which plots a temperature over time graph of a room being ...