Tagged Questions

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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2
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4answers
659 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
307 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 ...
1
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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, ...
4
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1answer
268 views

why do lightbulbs sometimes unscrew by themselves?

I've seen some light fixtures which exhibit the behavior of lightbulbs gradually unscrewing by themselves.
2
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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
131 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 ...
1
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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
votes
2answers
766 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 ...
1
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2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
391 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
895 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
255 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 ...
3
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2answers
480 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
302 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
564 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
472 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
124 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
votes
2answers
374 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.
1
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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 ...
-2
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
526 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
218 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
292 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? ...
6
votes
1answer
747 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
232 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
860 views

With ideal gases, varying quantity of moles, and having a constant volume how do temperature and pressure behave?

I'm trying to build a simulation of gases so I ended-up trying to use law of ideal gases ($PV = nRT$). In my scenario: volume is constant ($V=1\rm{m}^3$); a known quantity of moles are being added ...
0
votes
1answer
153 views

If human energy use were to increase by 2.3% per year, would we use all solar energy by 1400 years?

Assuming 2.3% per year exponential growth of human energy consumption (so, roughly speaking, that corresponds to multiplying consumption tenfold every century), it's argued that human annual energy ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

why does a larger thermal conductivity provide a smaller temperature gradient?

I was thinking about Fourier's Law in heat transfer today and for some reason I am just not understanding the relationships it gives us. Fourier's tells us that if the heat transfer rate is kept ...
3
votes
1answer
263 views

Why aren't two systems in thermal equilibrium the same as one system?

I am reading Molecular Driving Forces, 2nd ed., by Dill & Bromberg. On page 53, example 3.9, we consider why energy exchanges between two systems from the point of view of the 2nd law. We ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Entropy Change During Reversible Processes

I'm confused about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Second Law of Thermodynamics prohibits a decrease in the entropy of a closed system and states that the entropy is unchanged during a ...
0
votes
0answers
477 views

Entalpy and entropy role in freezing-point depression phenomena

There's this "atomic" explanation of the freezing-point phenomena on Wikipedia that leaves me really intrigued. Consider the problem in which the solvent freezes to a very nearly pure crystal, ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Eutectic systems behavior near 100%-0% composition and low temperature

I can't understand why in this phase diagram , in the area where the system is approaching the 100% $\alpha$ or 100% $\beta$ composition, the state is just a pure solid. I mean, where does the ...
1
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2answers
537 views

What happens to heat waste produced by energy generation?

What happens to heat waste produced by energy generation on earth that must be there according to the laws of thermodynamics? So, it never dissipates and remains on earth?
1
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0answers
45 views

Any new texts directly on second law of thermodynamics? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Recommendations for Statistical Mechanics book Is anyone aware of any recent text that summarises the research and arguments on second law of thermodynamics and also on ...
5
votes
1answer
367 views

Can an induction coil heat two layers of metal?

Imagine we have an induction coil which is strong enough to heat a sheet of metal. We can put a sheet of ferromagnetic metal close to the coil at distance $h_1$, and it gets heated to temperature ...
1
vote
3answers
914 views

What's the physical difference between a convective heater and an infrared heater?

Could someone please explain why there are 2 types of space heaters-- one that is convective and one that is infrared? Why does the first one not radiate and why does the second one not heat the air? ...
9
votes
4answers
8k views

What happens when you heat vodka in a microwave?

Since ethanol has a lower dielectric constant than water would the water heat up and boil before the ethanol? Would the water transfer heat to the ethanol and, since ethanol has a lower boiling point, ...
2
votes
3answers
564 views

Less than absolute zero possible? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Temperature below absolute zero? According to this article http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6115/52 (preprint: http://arxiv.org/abs/1211.0545) it is. What do you ...
15
votes
3answers
505 views

Could temperature have been defined as $-\partial S/\partial U$?

When coming up with a definition of temperature, it's typical to start with an empirical definition that a system with a hotter temperature tends to lose heat to a system with a colder temperature. ...
-1
votes
2answers
619 views

At the atomic level, is heat conduction simply radiation?

Radiation and conduction are two ways that heat is transferred. Convection isn't really a mode of transfer as the actual heat transfer really occurs through radiation/conduction and not by some other ...
2
votes
1answer
313 views

Intuitive description of what a “Fermi Gas” really is?

This question is based in the area of material equations of state. I am wanting to know what a Fermi Gas really is. I have searched in several places for a decent description, but I have not found ...
3
votes
1answer
406 views

Does a quantum phase transition have latent heat?

As the title says, I am thinking about the question that whether a quantum phase transition has latent heat. If so, at 0 temperature, we can drive the system by some parameter from disorder phase to ...
1
vote
1answer
179 views

Calculating the $\frac{dp}{dT}$ slope using Clausis-Clapeyron

I've produced experimental data over how the boiling point of water varies with pressure and temperature and plotted this in a PT graph. I would like to verify my results using theory. The ...
4
votes
1answer
396 views

How can gas from compressed air can “take” heat from surrounding environment?

I have recently been reading about why a can of compressed air gets cold when the air it contains is discharged. From what I understand the change from a liquid to a gas requires energy and therefore ...
11
votes
3answers
830 views

Temperature below absolute zero?

I saw this Nature article today, which cites e.g. arXiv:1211.0545. And it makes no sense to me. The temperature of a collection of particles is the average kinetic energy of those particles. Kinetic ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there some way to narrow down the Leidenfrost point for water?

Cooks sometimes use the Leidenfrost effect to estimate the temperature of a frying pan by flicking a few drops of water onto the heated pan. I had no idea, before looking into this, that this could be ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Do photons lose energy while travelling through space? Or why are planets closer to the sun warmer?

My train of thought was the following: The Earth orbiting the Sun is at times 5 million kilometers closer to it than others, but this is almost irrelevant to the seasons. Instead, the temperature ...