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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Several questions about spring chiller and LMTD

I'm designing a simple copper coil wort chiller. Digging formulas I'm having hard time to figure some things out, perhaps some simple guides may help me to go the right direction: LMTD need inlet ...
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1answer
1k views

Historic derivation of Wien's law

Every book I've read, including a lot of websites, Wikipedia, etc, say that Wien derived this: $$\rho_\nu(T)=\rho(\nu,T)=\nu^3f\left(\frac{\nu}{T}\right)$$ Being $\rho_v(T)$ the spectral enegy ...
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1answer
2k views

Calculation of number density from material density

Material density is given by $ \rho =m/V$, where $m$ is mass and $V$ is volume. Again number density given by $n=N/V$, where $N$ is the total number of particle. How can I calculate number density $n$ ...
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1answer
368 views

Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity PDF to CDF [closed]

I asked on Math.SE and was advised to try here instead. I need to draw from a Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution to initialise a molecular dynamics simulation. I have the PDF but I'm having ...
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1answer
200 views

What's the underlying particle physics of endothermic reactions?

I don't just mean reactions that require heat to proceed, storing surplus energy in chemical bonds. I wonder about strongly endothermic reactions that suck heat out of environment. You take some ...
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2answers
3k views

Plotting the maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution in matlab

I'm trying to plot a maxwell-boltzman velocity distribution in matlab. I have also asked this question at cross validated without much luck The PDF is f(v)=sqrt(m/2*pi*k*T) * exp(-m*v^2/2*k*T) ...
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2answers
325 views

What would result in a transformer that has its secondary wires disconnected from any circuit?

I am studying magnetism and I am curious as to what happens in a transformer that has its secondary output wires connected through a circuit versus one that doesn't. My main questions (in the case of ...
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1answer
284 views

relation between first law of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics definition of entropy

From the definition of entropy as $S= - Tr (\rho\, ln \rho)$ one obtains that $S = \frac{\langle E \rangle}{T} + \log Z.$ The first law of thermodynamics has $dS = {dE \over T}$. Why is there no ...
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1answer
154 views

Does the Kelvin have a rigorous definition?

From Wikipedia: The kelvin is defined as the fraction 1⁄273.16 of the thermodynamic temperature of the triple point of water. That presupposes that we can take a fraction of temperature. Now, ...
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2answers
240 views

At what depth in the water atmospheric pressure is 100 times greater than on the ground?

At what depth in the water atmospheric pressure is 100 times greater than on the ground? This question comes from the fact that average pressure in Earth( 1000 mbar) is 100 times greater than in ...
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3answers
570 views

What's the basic difference between heat and temperature?

Temperature is usually seen as a calibrated representation of heat but what about latent heat? Eg. Ice and water have different amounts of heat at 0 degree c.
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1answer
190 views

The physical laws of thermodynamics tell us that electrical impulses must produce heat?

Health - Controversial New Idea: Nerves Transmit Sound, Not Electricity - By Robert Roy Britt, LiveScience Managing Editor posted: 14 March, 2007 1:00 pm ET Rendering shows a biological membrane ...
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424 views

Room temperature and fan orientation [duplicate]

So I'm in a tiny dorm room and I normally point my fan blowing outside the window to cool my room off. I've been in some debates on blowing air out or in is more effective, so I'm hoping to get some ...
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1answer
272 views

Ideal gas temperature and pressure gradients?

Consider an ideal gas in a $d\times d\times L$ box with the $L$ dimension in the $x$-direction. Suppose that the opposite $d\times d$ sides of the box are held at temperatures $T_1$ and $T_2$ with ...
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1answer
428 views

Why is (von Neumann) entropy maximized for an ensemble in thermal equilibrium?

Consider a quantum system in thermal equilibrium with a heat bath. In determining the density operator of the system, the usual procedure is to maximize the von Neumann entropy subject to the ...
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1answer
437 views

Temperature Vs. Volume of Water

Here and here it states that water is at its highest density around $4^\circ$ Celsius. I know very little physics and a Google search has left me without an answer. I am teaching an ODE class in the ...
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1answer
459 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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2answers
306 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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3answers
324 views

How can one say that if we subtract “TS” from “U” then what we get is free energy?

In thermodynamics, the Helmholtz free energy is deemed as a thermodynamic potential which calculates the “useful” work retrievable from a closed thermodynamic system at a constant temperature and ...
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2answers
149 views

What is evidence for an irreversible change?

Knowing some about thermodynamics and reactions, I do understand how it can be shown that a change is reversible. But irreversible? Why can't it be that a change that was deemed irreversible thousands ...
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2answers
879 views

Heat transfer between two surfaces

Suppose I have surface A in contact with surface B, if I apply Fourier's law of heat transfer, which $K$ should I use, $K_a$ or $K_b$? Essentially asking whether the same block of material heats ...
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1answer
100 views

Indicators on how even the heat is distributed?

I'm wondering if there are any good indicators on how even the heat is distributed on an object (for simplicity, a flat object maybe)? What are the possibly reasonable ways to maximize the evenness if ...
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4answers
649 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 ...
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1answer
102 views

Thermodynamics of a bar, specific heat

I have a problem and I don't understand how the book solves it. It says I have a bar such that $$F=aT^2(L-L_0)$$ where $F$ is the force or tension of the bar, $T$ is the temperature, and $L$ the ...
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3answers
1k views

Irreversible process

I have this problem. I have an ideal gas that goes through an irreversible adiabatic decompression. I have the initial state (P,T,V), and the final pressure, and I have to calculate the entropy ...
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1answer
302 views

What's the vapor pressure and evaporation enthalpy of a saline solution?

Suppose you dissolve an amount of salt in water. Because of the attraction between the ions and the water molecules, you'd expect lower vapor pressure and higher enthalpie, both depending on the ...
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2answers
1k views

Constant pressure and temperature mixing of 2 different ideal gases - possible work and heat?

A simple question I hope... Initially, have two separate containers of 2 different ideal gases, 1.) N1, P, T, V1 and 2.) N2, P, T, V2. After mixing, the pressure and temperature are still P and T, ...
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1answer
266 views

why do lightbulbs sometimes unscrew by themselves?

I've seen some light fixtures which exhibit the behavior of lightbulbs gradually unscrewing by themselves.
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1answer
261 views

The definition of entropy

As history of thermodynamics say, it was a mystery that what is the required condition for a given energy conversion to take place? Like there are two possible events each conserving energy but only ...
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1answer
128 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 ...
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0answers
50 views

Heat contained in compressed gas [closed]

I am trying to compute the amount of energy released in the form of heat if I compress 1 cubic meter of Hydrogen to 0.1 cubic meter while submerged in a large body of water of a given temperature - ...
2
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2answers
754 views

P-T Phase diagram. Density of material at critical point

One of the questions I had while reading through some material was: Why is the density of a given volume of gas uniquely defined at the critical point, but not at the triple point? Is it because at ...
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2answers
1k views

A hot object exposed to low temperature in a vacuum doesn't lose heat?

I heard somewhere that if the human body were exposed to outer space where the temperature is extremely low, the human won't actually feel cold because in a vacuum, the heat energy doesn't have ...
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2answers
388 views

Ideal gas concentration under temperature gradient

I'm trying to calculate the concentration of an ideal gas in an adiabatic container as a function of position where the top and bottom plates of the container are fixed at temperatures $T_1$ and ...
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1answer
872 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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1answer
252 views

Order of phase transition: Which free energy to use?

I am unclear about the adjective "first" or "second" used in phase transitions. Take the liquid-gas transition for example. If we vary the volume of the system at constant T, at some point we will ...
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2answers
475 views

Order of phase transitions

I got to read things like In case of a first order phase transition, the volume and temperature change in a discontinuous manner. However for phase transitions of higher order the change in ...
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4answers
4k views

What is $vdp$ work and when do I use it?

I am a little confused, from the first law of thermodynamics (energy conservation) $$\Delta E = \delta Q - \delta W $$ If the amount of work done is a volume expansion of a gas in, say a piston ...
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1answer
300 views

Clausius Clapeyron equation

While reading about the Clausius Clapeyron equation from the Feynman lectures on Physics, I couldn't understand a few things from its derivation: Although the argument was pretty clear, when the ...
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1answer
558 views

Postulate of a-priori probabilities

In Statistical Mechanics, we often postulate that for an isolated system, the phase-space density of all accessible microstates (i.e all microstates consistent with the energy) is the same. This is ...
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2answers
470 views

Why aren't gas planets and stars fuzzy? [duplicate]

The edge of Jupiter looks very sharp. Even more bothersome, the edge of the sun looks sharp, aside from kind of a soup of particles floating above it. The sun's surface has an incredibly low ...
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2answers
121 views

Is it possible to have annealing without creep?

Annealing can repair a material by allowing atoms to find the minimum energy state; since solids have a surface tension this process will allow cracks to fuse and reverse fatigue. However, annealing ...
3
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2answers
371 views

Why do hot objects prefer to emit photons over electrons ? Is there electron-positron annihilation?

Why do hot objects prefer to emit photons over electrons ? Is there electron-positron annihilation ? If so , why ? Im confused by this.
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0answers
30 views

Does a flame produce free electrons? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does Fire Conduct Electricity? Why? Is fire plasma? Does a flame produce free electrons ? Or is the answer sometimes depending on the chemicals ? Does the answer depend ...
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1answer
73 views

heating verses air conditioning [closed]

My Co-workers and I are trying to figure this out, but can't think of a logical answer. It's probably an easy one, but I'll ask anyway- Ok, the heater is set at 73 degrees. The a/c is set at 73 ...
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1answer
517 views

Confused about fire?

Im confused about fire. The way I see it : Heat creates (kinetic) energy in mass and this creates stronger vibrations of atoms. When those vibrations are strong enough the electrons interact ...
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3answers
216 views

Temperature in space

Temperature is a measure of kinetic energy transferred to particles, henceforth, space being vacuum, temperature cannot be measured. But then, there is cosmic background radiation. It is the leftover ...
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3answers
290 views

Is enthalpy defined under non-isobaric conditions?

My question is this, Does Enthalpy have a meaning under non-isobaric conditions? Is its existence as a property of a system independent of whether the system is under isobaric condition or not? ...
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1answer
743 views

Maximum Principle vs. Minimum Principle in Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics

Prigogine's Min. principle states that in steady-state non-equilibrium systems the entropy generation rate is at a minimum, i.e., a system will seek a steady-state that has min entropy generation. ...
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1answer
230 views

Does electric potential have a temperature?

When I took my first thermo class a tucked away chapter introduced Exergy in terms of electrical energy, meaning that the amount of electrical energy you could get from something is functionally its ...