Covers the study of (mostly homogeneous) macroscopic systems from a heat/energy/entropy point of view. Maybe combine with [tag:statistical-mechanics].

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

5
votes
1answer
855 views

What is the importance of Joule's experiment?

I was reading about the experiment of Joule (Italian wiki page). I'm not sure how it's called in English, since there is only an Italian and French version. In any case, in the page it is stated that ...
4
votes
1answer
204 views

Thermodynamic relations from Gibbs-Duhem

Given the Gibbs-Duhem relation $V dp = S dT - N d \mu$, I am having trouble deriving the following identity: $\ (\frac{\partial N}{\partial \mu})_{V,T} = N (\frac{\partial \rho}{\partial p})_T$ ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do some metal containers not conduct heat, while some do?

Some metal containers such as the Nissan Thermos ones, even if 100 C water is filled inside, the container is still cold to the touch on the outside. It won't be even warm: At the same time, some ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

What does Metric Transitivity Mean?

Jaynes In his paper "Information theory and Statistical mechanics" says "Previously, one constructed a theory based on equations of motion, supplemented by additional hypothesis of ergodicity, ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Possible colors of fire?

I have learnt that depending on the various gases those are involved in the reaction that produces fire, different colors (yellow, red or blue) of flames become visible. I have a question .. what are ...
2
votes
1answer
579 views

Physics-based derivation of the formula for entropy [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Proof of $S=-\sum p\ln p$? I am looking for a derivation of the formula $$S~=~-\Sigma_ip_i \log (p_i).$$ for entropy, from first principles. I only wish to assume the ...
2
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
280 views

what is the basic form of the 'fire'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is fire matter or energy? What is the basic form of fire? physics defines every entity by a basic form either solid or liquid or as a gas, example: water is liquid, ice ...
2
votes
1answer
683 views

Thermal expansion of Sphere

How would one go about writing an expression of the expansion of the volume of a sphere of a given material? I noticed a few sources give it as $\Delta V= 3\gamma V\Delta T $ where V is the initial ...
3
votes
3answers
517 views

First order phase transition in a classical system

I've never liked discontinuous quantities in classical physics, so I find the discontinuity in heat capacity weird. My question is, do first order phase transitions ever really exist? Or are our ...
2
votes
2answers
313 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?
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Can I take heat from the air and convert it to electricity?

Its a summer day and the air in my house has been heated up. I could switch on my air conditioning, but then I'd be using energy from the grid in order to reduce the amount of energy in my house. ...
0
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the characteristic length of a cylinder

I have a cold cylinder that is submerged in hot water and I need to find the convective heat transfer coefficient. I can do the whole process but I am stuck finding the characteristic length. I found ...
4
votes
3answers
522 views

Vacuum energy and perpetual motion

The part of the Einstein equations of general relativity referred to vacuum energy, introduce a repulsive term in gravity. This means that as the space become bigger and bigger, vacuum part become ...
2
votes
2answers
271 views

How cold should it be outside for a hot coffee mug to break?

So I like to go outside for a morning coffee with a cigarette. In winter here it's usually between -5C to -25C, and sometimes it gets down to -30C and colder. Assuming that my coffee is about 75-80C, ...
5
votes
2answers
285 views

Why doesn't a neon sign seem that hot?

I heard that neon signs contain plasma, why aren't they hot? is it because the electrons and ions do not hit the lamp's wall? Is it because it is non thermal plasma and electrons and ions are not in ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

What's the lower limit for energy usage to desalinate water?

Consider a desalination process where you enter sea water and receive fresh water and brine (or maybe pure salt). How do I compute the least amount of energy per mass? I think this has something to ...
3
votes
1answer
541 views

What is non-thermal plasma?

I read about non-thermal plasma, but I still have some questions: The ions and neutral particles are not in thermal equilibrium with the electron, does that mean that the overall temperature is low ...
4
votes
3answers
360 views

What is temperature?

Recently I read an interesting article about negative temperature. I was puzzled because I thought before that temperature has definite meaning in thermodynamics: it tells about how fast atoms jiggle. ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

After what speed air friction starts to heat up an object?

I understand that air friction cools off an object at low speeds. For example, if you blow on a spoon of hot soup, it cools off. Or if you swing a hot frying pan in the air, it cools off faster. But ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does pizza cheese seem hotter than the crust?

When I eat hot pizza or a melted cheese sandwich, the cheese feels a lot hotter than the crust or bread: in particular, the cheese might scald the roof of my mouth. but the crust will not. Is this ...
2
votes
1answer
728 views

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?
6
votes
1answer
371 views

Gas kinetic representation of trans-critical conditions

From a molecular point of view, can we think of the super-critical conditions as conditions where T and p are large enough that the collisions of gas molecules are frequent and powerful enough to ...
1
vote
1answer
249 views

An explanation for the Landauer's principle

Has anyone understood the Landauer's principle? What is the current status? In specific, is there a theoretical derivation of the Landauer's Principle?(not the heuristic one based on Salizard's ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Which came first, movement or heat?

According to my measly understanding of the universe, when particles hit one another, some of their kinetic energy is transformed into heat. But when we heat particles (for instance, putting a bucket ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Heat Exchanger Calculation

I have a tank of oil at 55 degrees c. I plan to run a copper pipe 8mm in diameter (1mm thickness) into a coil 15m long inside the tank. For all purposes of assumption, the copper pipe is perfectly ...
2
votes
1answer
159 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Does high entropy means low symmetry?

According to Bogolubov postulate (various texts name it differently) in Non-equilibrium thermodynamics, the number of needed parameters to describe our system is decreasing with time, and finally at ...
0
votes
2answers
408 views

What is the ion drag mechanism in dielectric heating?

While reading about dielectric heating on Wikipedia, I read about the ion drag mechanism but there wasn't enough information about. I know there is another Phys.SE question talking about the ion drag ...
3
votes
1answer
429 views

Why do non-stick frying pans work?

Modern non-stick frying pans use a mixture of titanium and ceramic that is sandblasted onto the pan surface, and then fired to 2,000 °C (according to Wikipedia). Can anyone explain (at the molecular ...
1
vote
3answers
471 views

Does the volume of a thermodynamic system always have to change for it to do work?

Does the volume of a thermodynamic system always have to change for it to do work? If yes,could you explain why? And if no, could you provide the example of a system, where it is not neccesary.
1
vote
1answer
825 views

What arrangement of sound waves would be needed to heat air in a typical sized room?

From what I understand, sound is simply the jostling of the molecules that make up the air in a specific pattern, widely known as waves. I also know that these are longitudinal waves. If we were to ...
4
votes
4answers
356 views

Why can $\beta$ not be linearly proportional to $T$, that is $\beta = constant \times T$?

$\beta$ in statistical mechanics is equal to $\frac{1}{k_BT}$ in in thermodynamics, but I do not understand why $\beta\propto T^{-1}$ instead of, say, $\beta\propto T$?
2
votes
1answer
128 views

What are the properties and impediments of a liquid air fueled engine?

I recently came across a very interesting article that suggested the possibility of using liquified gases like air, nitrogen, or oxygen as a power source for cars. It appears that this company is ...
-1
votes
1answer
220 views

I need help with this question on Heat Capacity

A calorimeter has a Heat Capacity of $70 J/K$. There is $150g$ water with a temperature of $20^oC$ in this calorimeter. In this, you put a metal cube of $60g$ with a temperature of $100^oC$. The ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Area under a $pV$ diagram

What does the area under a Pressure volume diagram equal? I read in my textbook it equals 'external' work done, but why is this? First of all, what exactly is external work? Can you get it ...
4
votes
1answer
375 views

What would jumping into a pool and feeling cold be called? Conduction, or convection?

This was another question from my son's workbook. It said: ...
0
votes
3answers
296 views

Temperature and density

As temperature rise the density become lower,When temperature goes down, density is higher but in higher temperature the body become bigger so why density become lower?
8
votes
3answers
461 views

Thermodynamically reversed black holes, firewalls, Casimir effect, null energy condition violations

Scott Aaronson asked a very deep question at Hawking radiation and reversibility about what happens if black hole evolution is reversed thermodynamically. Most of the commenters missed his point ...
4
votes
2answers
245 views

Question about thermodynamic conjugate quantities

I've come across the Onsager reciprocal principle. It's almost clear, except for thermodynamic conjugate quantities - what's that, physical meaning (except the formal definitions: $X_i = ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does the law of increasing entropy, a law arising from statistics of many particles, underpin modern physics?

As far as I interpret it, the law of ever increasing entropy states that "a system will always move towards the most disordered state, never in the other direction". Now, I understand why it would ...
1
vote
0answers
283 views

Simple heat transfer question [closed]

You add an unknown volume of milk of $5.2 ^\circ C$ to a cup of coffee ($40 mL$ of water, temperature: $80.3 ^\circ C$). After a while of stirring the temperature reaches $73.2 ^\circ C$. The ...
6
votes
5answers
12k views

The difference between heat and temperature

So as I understand it, heat energy of an object is the SUM of all the kinetic energies of the molecules of the object (upto constant factor). The temperature on the other hand is the AVERAGE of the ...
4
votes
3answers
225 views

Temperature of a gas (assumptions about the particle speeds)

Temperature is related to average of particles kinetic energy. I would like to ask about a singular state of a particle system of a little time interval. The question is: If all particles were ...
5
votes
2answers
128 views

Why is the gas halo of the Milky Way so hot?

I have read on the webpage of NASA that there is a massive hot gas halo around our galaxy. Its temperature is between 100,000 and 1 million Kelvins or more. I do not understand why is it so hot. The ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Calculating work done on an ideal gas

I am trying to calculate the work done on an ideal gas in a piston set up where temperature is kept constant. I am given the volume, pressure and temperature. I know from Boyle's law that volume is ...
4
votes
4answers
371 views

Does entropy decrease through measurement?

For an electron in its rest frame, we have an entropy $$ S = \log 2, $$ which comes from the 2 possible spin directions along z-axis. If the measurement $S_z$ changes its state to $\left| + ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Action on Lard Oil

If water is mixed with lard oil and heated (creating some super-critical liquid with water), how does this affect the volatility of the mixture in comparison with its purity..? So, My question is: ...
1
vote
2answers
611 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. ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

Calibrating an electronic temperature sensor based on power consumption

I'm working with an electronic temperature logger that is being affected by heat generated internally. How does one come up with a calibration equation to calculate a more accurate reading of ambient ...