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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Medical/Physics Question - Cut Off Finger Preservation

This question might require some knowledge of medical/tissue, but physicists seem to know everything, so figured I've give it a shot here ;) When people put cut off fingers they are told to put the ...
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46 views

Vacancy Generation / Annihilation Time (Relaxation Time)

Vacancy Generation/Annihilation Time, Recombination Time and Relaxation Time ($\tau$) are all synonymously used in atomic physics literatures. They're defined as the time that it takes for vacancies ...
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1answer
679 views

What do we mean when we talk about Gibbs Free Energy?

Before I start, I'm aware that this question may be better suited on the Chemistry or Biology site, but it's my belief that physicists are more likely to have a clear understanding on what certain ...
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2answers
40 views

Infinite heat from gas?

Does any type of gas keep the same temperature if is constantly exposed to same force? In other words, must we change the applied force in some moment to get heat again, or is the same constant force ...
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1answer
100 views

How do we know that the Virial Expansion exists?

How do we know that the Virial Expansion exists? How do we know that we may always write $\frac{p}{kT}$ as a power series in $\frac{N}{V}$? That is, how do we know that there exists $B_{i}$ so that ...
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84 views

Why is $B(T)\approx b(T-T_C)$ near critical point $T_C$ in Landau theory?

In Peskin&Schroeder page $270$ equation $(8.4)$ you see that they approximate the function $B(T)$ near the Curie temperature as $$B(T)\approx b(T-T_C)$$ i.e. they omit $B(T_C)$ in the Taylor ...
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2k views

How to calculate fluid's temperature change in a pump?

To calculate the pressure at the outlet of a pump we use pump performance characteristics i.e. charts giving pump head as a function of volumetric flow. When the fluid flows through a pump, it's ...
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2answers
109 views

Modelling multiple heat sources?

I am working on a project to model heat transfer in a data center. I have basic models for a one dimensional heat transfer using conduction and convection. Such as, taking a server and modelling the ...
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125 views

Work in Newtonian Mechanics and Thermodynamics

Well, is the basic difference between the work that we learn in Mechanics and that in Thermodynamics? This is because in Mechanics, whenever work of magnitude $W$ is done on a system $S$, then the ...
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3answers
315 views

How do greenhouse gases trap heat?

I am looking for a molecular-level understanding of the greenhouse effect. What is it about the carbon-dioxide molecule (and methane, and water, etc) that is different from other gasses ...
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268 views

Partition Function of a three state particle system

I've just finished studying the partition function of a two-state particle system, where particles can have a 0 energy value or E energy value . That is: Where $t_j$ is a variable of value ...
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4answers
621 views

Is vapour pressure based on partial pressures or just total pressure on the liquid?

The explanation for the boiling point of water is that at 100C, the vapour pressure becomes greater than atmospheric pressure. But say you had a a jar of water sealed in argon at 1atm, which is larger ...
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213 views

Finding internal energy using equation of state

I have an equation of state as a function of $p$ (pressure), $T$ (temperature) and $V$ (volume) for a real gas and need to find an expression for the internal energy $U$. I know this is given by the ...
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1answer
52 views

Can I apply symmetry to this boundary value problem (BVP)?

Let's say I have a hollow cylindrical shell with inner radius $a$ and outer radius $b$ and length $L$. The temperature at at z=L is $T_{2}$ and the temperature at z=0 is $T_{1}$. There is also an ...
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4answers
105 views

Bulk flow of air in a long tube between Antarctica and Australia?

I have a 5km diameter clear plastic tube which is open at each end and runs from the center of Antarctica to Lake Eyre in Australia. The tube is on the ground where it can be and at sea level on the ...
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3answers
340 views

(Why) would unmaintained water heater use more electrical energy?

I'm specifically thinking about lime/sedimentation at the bottom of water heater, and calcification of heating elements (and not possible thermal insulation deterioration). It is very often claimed ...
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1answer
5k views

Enthalpy Change in Reversible, Isothermal Expansion of Ideal Gas

For the reversible isothermal expansion of an ideal gas: $${∆H}={∆U}=0 \tag1$$ This is obvious for the case of internal energy because $${∆U} = \frac {3}{2} n R {∆T} = 0 \tag2$$ and $${∆U} = -C_P n ...
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2answers
1k views

Difference between pressure and stress tensor

What is the difference between hydrostatic pressure and stress tensor?
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676 views

Is cooling really exponential?

I did the following experiment: I took boiling water, put a thermomenter (from Vernier hooked up to a TInspire calculator) into it and pulled it out. Then we started measuring the temperature it read ...
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1answer
80 views

Law of equipartition

Law of equipartition predicts the heat capacity of gases correctly. It assumes that inter-molecular attraction in gases is negligible (which is true). But for solids, inter-molecular attraction is not ...
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1k views

Does it take infinite energy to create a perfect vacuum?

Question is inspired by a recent burst of perpetuum mobile-type questions. It would be nice if one could simply discard them all by an argument that shows it's impossible to create a perfect vacuum. ...
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2answers
148 views

Mechanism of Hawking's radiation and entropy of the black hole

During Hawking's radiation, a virtual particle with negative energy and mass (from pair of particle and antiparticle) fall into black hole and its real partner having positive energy escape from ...
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6answers
878 views

Why does the bathroom become hot after a bath?

I have noticed many times that whenever I enter into the bathroom just after someone else bathed the temperature inside it would be high. Is it that the body heat comes out when we pour a lot of ...
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2answers
65 views

Temperature limit on entropy of a paramagnet

We have $$S=Nk_B[\ln(2 \cosh(x)) - x \tanh(x)]$$ where $$x = \frac{\mu B}{k_BT}$$ In need to show that at low temperatures entropy $$S \approx Nk_B2xe^{-2x}$$ I wrote out the $\cosh(x)$ in terms of ...
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1answer
650 views

Otto cycle efficiency described in pressure ratio (instead of compression ratio)

The Otto cycle's thermodynamic efficiency is often described using the compression ratio: $$\eta_{th} = 1 - \left( \tfrac{1}{CR} \right ) ^ {k-1},$$ (where CR is the compression ratio, and k the ...
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88 views

Radiation and absorption

Can thermal radiation from a cooler object (B, which emits longer wavelength radiation) ever ADD to the overall thermal energy level of a warmer object (A, which emits shorter wavelength radiation)? ...
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65 views

Molecules of a solid [closed]

Question: Molecules of a solid : (a) are always in a state of motion (b) move only when heated (c) move because they are loosely bound (d) do not move at all My attempt: I ...
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1k views

Surface Area: Volume and its relation with heat

In biology, it is stated that more surface area and less volume helps for keeping bodies cool. How can one explain this phenomena in terms of physics?
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158 views

On the distinction of past and future: could one theoretically reverse direction of particles and cause time to appear to go backwards?

Based on my understanding of physics after seeing The Distinction of Past and Future on Project Tuva, there is no distinction between past and future on a fundamental level- all particle interactions ...
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48 views

Standard Heat of Combustion

When considering tabulated standard values of heat of combustion (∆H° combustion) or any other similar value, the results are reported for species in their standard states (1 bar pressure, 25°C, etc). ...
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2answers
254 views

What happens to a photon when it enters a black hole?

The photon has a mass of 0, but it has energy because of its motion. When it is sucked into the black hole and becomes a singularity, it loses its energy because it is no longer moving. It is not ...
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3answers
2k views

Does specific heat change with pressure? If so, why?

As pressure is increased, do we require more energy to increase the temperature from given temperature for the same mass. For example, if we heat water at 1 atm to raise its temperature by 20 degree ...
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1answer
427 views

Do ideal gases at zero Kelvin have potential energy?

Do ideal gases at zero Kelvin have potential energy?
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1answer
135 views

Why Thermodynamic cycles and no single process

Why Thermodynamic cycles are used to obtain work for example carnot engine rather than single isothermal process which is part of cycle and can be used to obtain more work.And why isothermal process ...
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70 views

What is concept of temperture in ion trap?

As only several thousands of particles are holding in the ion trap, how can we understand the temperature?
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120 views

Thermodynamics - convection current

please could someone help explain the mechanism of a convection current as I keep finding conflicting explanations. Is a convection current caused by differences in density or differences in pressure? ...
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59 views

How the pressure of a system changes in terms of density?

I am modeling a closed natural circulation loop, filled with water. Some parts of the loop are heated, some are cooled and other are assumed adiabatic. As an effect of heating and cooling the density ...
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1answer
85 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 ...
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4answers
6k views

Deriving combined gas law from Boyle's and Charles' laws

I know that the combined gas law, $$\frac{PV}{T}=k$$ should be derivable from Boyle's Law and Charles' Law. Since these are very basic equations, I presumed that it would be a simple matter, so I ...
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2answers
141 views

Pressure versus Volume system problem

A rigid air tight container of volume 1.5 m$^3$ is filled with a gas of density 8 kg/m$^3$. The container has a density meter that allows us to watch the changes in density in the gas in the ...
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4answers
8k views

Why does a human body only emit infra red radiation and not other types of electromagnetic radiation?

What causes humans to emit infra red radiation and why don't we also emit other types of electromagnetic radiation such as ultra violet or microwave? Sunlight contains UV and our body takes it in, but ...
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75 views

Entropy of a chain

A chain has N segments which can be oriented in either the x or y directions. For each segment oriented along y, there is an energy penalty of $\epsilon$. We also know the end segment is at $(L_x, ...
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1answer
65 views

Calculating energy U from $\partial U/\partial q$

Imagine $N$ oscillators with only two possible energies, $\epsilon_0$ and $ \epsilon_1$, with $\epsilon_1 > \epsilon_0$. Taking $\epsilon_0 = 0$ for now I showed $\Omega(q\epsilon_1) = ...
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2answers
139 views

Can entropy of a system decrease if we wait long enough?

A ball rests on a smooth surface. The ball's particles are in constant motion. So are the particles of the floor. Some of the ball's particles collide with the floor's particles and transfer kinetic ...
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5answers
26k views

Why is there water coming out of a car’s tail pipe?

I notice yesterday that my neighbor’s car had water coming out of the exhaust pipe in the morning. My first response was since the hot exhaust is hotter than the cold tail pipe, heat is transferred ...
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2answers
10k views

Maximum theoretical efficiency of internal combustion engine

This Wikipedia article states that: Most steel engines have a thermodynamic limit of 37%. Is it correct? If so then it is not clear where this number comes from. Is it derived somehow from ...
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2answers
501 views

Would sea water moderate a nuclear submarine meltdown?

My son asked me: If nuclear submarines get sunk or blown up, what is to stop them going into nuclear meltdown? I thought about it and came to the conclusion that because they're in the sea the ...
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369 views

Caculating thermal stresses in a composite rod

The Question Between two rigid walls separated by a distance $l_1+l_2$, two rods of equal cross-section area $A$, and length, coefficient of linear expansion and Young's modulus $l_1, ...
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37 views

Maximum temperature of an elliptical thermodynamic process

Given a heat engine made from the curve $$V(t)=V_0 +A \cos(\omega t); \qquad P(t)=P_0-B \sin(\omega t).$$ What are the hottest and coldest points of this cycle, and what are the temperatures at those ...
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25 views

Finding out the temperature difference

If we add 10 spherical bubbles then there will be some change in their area. Is there any way to find out change in temperature of the liquid from the change of its area?