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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612 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
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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
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1answer
399 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 ...
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1answer
177 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
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1answer
394 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 ...
9
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3answers
813 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
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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
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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 ...
2
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1answer
209 views

free energy and entropy of 2D soap froth

This is a (exploratory) computational project. The soap froth was created by injecting bubbles into a chamber formed by two rectangular plates which are 0.16cm. From the moment the soap froth was ...
8
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1answer
461 views

Modification of Newton's Law of Cooling

Yesterday I randomly started thinking about Newton's Law of Cooling. The problem I realized is that it assumes the ambient temperature stays constant over time, which is obviously not true. So what I ...
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2answers
432 views

Why are expressions such as $\operatorname{ln}T$ used in thermodynamics where $T$ is not dimensionless?

In all thermodynamics texts that I have seen, expressions such as $\operatorname{ln}T$ and $\operatorname{ln}S$ are used, where $T$ is temperature and $S$ is entropy, and also with other thermodynamic ...
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3answers
245 views

Why is there more steam when water is subject to less fire?

When I cook things, such as scallop and salmon, I found that the food may be more tender if I wait till the water boils (at 100 C) and immediately turn the fire lower so that the water is not bubbling ...
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1answer
318 views

What is the relation between surface area and radiation, if any?

Basically I wonder what happens to emitted radiation by douubling a light e.g. twice the surface area of the sun will emit how much more radiation? 4 times more? Is there a formula?
3
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3answers
756 views

Understanding mathematically the free expansion process of an ideal gas

I'm trying to understand mathematically that for the free expansion of an ideal gas the internal energy $E$ just depends on temperature $T$ and not volume $V$. In the free expansion process the ...
2
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2answers
209 views

Can the vibrational energy of a engine be used to increase efficiency?

In whole mechanics, we never talk about wasted vibrational energy! As we see in our daily life, a lot of energy is wasted as vibrational energy in every engine, for example as we fire our car's ...
2
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1answer
586 views

Lennard Jones liquid vapour phase transition

I am trying to generate a phase diagram of pressure versus temperature in a NPT ensemble using molecular dynamics method. I am using the Lennard Jones potential with 108 particles and Berendsen ...
2
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3answers
440 views

Why is an air conditioner more efficient in a low-thermal-mass house?

Why is an air conditioner more efficient in a low-thermal-mass house? I recently read To get these efficiency gains it is important to use the air conditioner as it is intended: the unit has to ...
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1answer
114 views

Parameter determining argon phase

Currently I am working a molecular simulation to determine phases of an argon NPT ensemble using Lennard Jones potential. Mainly I use the radial distribution function to determine solid, liquid, or ...
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3answers
896 views

Can one heat up a vacuum?

I've got a question about heating a vacuum. If there were, say, a container in space, at 2.7 degrees kelvin (the typical temperature of space, if I'm not mistaken) and as empty as space (as close to ...
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2answers
6k views

Can entropy be equal to zero?

I've searched for it but I only found contradicting answers from "scientists": Dr. David Balson, Ph.D. states: "entropy in a system can never be equal to zero". Sam Bowen does not refutes the ...
3
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0answers
112 views

Thermal imaging camera [closed]

I'm making a tea bag experiment (Make a hollow cylindrical tube from light paper e.g. from an empty tea bag. When the top end of the cylinder is lit, it takes off.) I need to know how hot air is ...
5
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3answers
328 views

experimental technique for measuring temperature of an ant

I am taking a course on thermodynamics. I have a question from my text(halliday & resnick,physics-1). They asked me to measure temperature of an ant or an insect or a small body,like a small ...
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1answer
113 views

Are Carnot engine efficieny and Fourier heat trasmission law related?

It just occured to me that the efficiency of Carnot cycles is $\eta= \frac{T_1 - T_2}{T_1}$, that is, the efficiency decreases as the difference between reservoir temperatures decreases. On the other ...
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4answers
3k views

Why does the nature always prefer low energy and maximum entropy?

Why does the nature always prefer low energy and maximum entropy? I've just learned electrostatics and I still have no idea why like charges repel each other. ...
2
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1answer
100 views

Where does the energy flow differ between a forward and reverse process?

Mathematically ($W=\int PdV$) and by the First Law, I understand that $1 \rightarrow 4 \rightarrow 3 \rightarrow 2 \rightarrow 1$ and $1 \rightarrow 2 \rightarrow 3 \rightarrow 4 \rightarrow 1$ are ...
2
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1answer
196 views

Are Carnot theorem and Carnot Cycle related?

This has been in my head for a while, and I think I finally have the answer. I was wondering what was so special about the Carnot cycle so it was used to demonstrate the Carnot theorem; the ...
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2answers
499 views

Energy from man-made tornadoes

Peter Thiel just paid $300,000 to Canadian inventor Louis Michaud who is working to construct useful "man-made tornadoes" or "atmospheric vortex engines" which could be components of future power ...
3
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1answer
225 views

If layers of insulation are continuously added to a heated object, will it continue to be better insulated?

If you were to keep adding layers of insulation to something, like blankets to a person, would each blanket continue to improve the insulation? Or do you reach some point at which the next blanket ...
2
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2answers
245 views

Phase volume contraction in dissipative systems

I am confused about phase-volume contraction in dissipative systems. Please help me catch the flaw in my understanding. From a macroscopic point of view I understand that a dynamic system tends to go ...
3
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0answers
72 views

Photon pumping in Laser

Let's consider a ring laser where the laser must pass through the gain material before it is sent toward a partially reflective surface $\ R=1-T $. The other mirrors are perfect reflectors with $\ ...
2
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0answers
64 views

In a non-degenerate plasma, why are e-e collision negligible compared to e-ion for thermal conduction?

I'm trying to make some order of magnitude estimates of heat transfer in stars - to better understand 1) why conduction is said to be negligible (for non-degenerate matter) and 2) when convection ...
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1answer
339 views

How much energy Maxwell's demon will earn?

Suppose we have one mole of one-atom ideal gas at temperature $T$. Suppose Maxwell's daemon has separated molecules into two sections, one with speed below mean and another with speed above mean. ...
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2answers
1k views

Liquid with freezing point above 0 Celsius that could be use at ice rinks

Please help me with an answer to my dilemma: Is there a liquid that could be used to fill an ice rink (non-explosive, non-poisonous, etc), and have the freezing point above 0 Celsius?
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2answers
149 views

Stealing heat, or not?

Say I hook a 1KW steam engine to the steam heat in my apartment, and generate 1KW of electricity (the engine is 1KW mechanical, not 1KW thermal) from it, so I don't have to pay ConEd. That means I ...
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3answers
5k views

Internal energy according to the van der Waals equation

I am trying to derive the internal energy of a gas which obeys the van der Waals equation. I have however encountered some problems. I calculate the integral of $dU$ from $V=0,T=0$ to $V=V, T=\infty$ ...
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1answer
112 views

Is $E=mc^2$ reserved to nuclear physics?

I was wondering, while putting a log in my fireplace, how much energy the piece of wood would give. The most famous formula poped into my head: $E=m \cdot c ^ 2$! Is this formula applicable to a ...
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1answer
279 views

Does a Peltier Thermoelectric layer make a good regulator for LN2 heat-sink interfacing

I understand that when cooling water with LN2 directly (through pipes for example), that it can be too effective, freezing the water (and blocking the pipe). From what I read, regulation of the heat ...
3
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2answers
516 views

How to interpret Stefan-Boltzmann's law?

The Stefan-Boltzmann equation states $e=\sigma T^4$, but how do we interpret this? Is this completely wrong: A body of size $s^2$ generates the radiation/temperature $T^4$ for a given size and a ...
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0answers
97 views

Using thermodynamics and Kinematics together to solve a parachuter problem?

I need to find a parachutist's displacement after a given height (nearly 37000m) and at a given latitude. I have his mass, area, parachute area, drop height, parachute deployment height, data about ...
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1answer
95 views

Problem evaluating moles in a an isochor transformation

I have a problem with an isochor transformation. Me and my group of study made an experiment that want to check Gay-Lussac’s law. We registered the equilibrium states and fitted the $P = nRT / V$, ...
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1answer
147 views

Calculating outside temperature based on indoor measurements

If I take three consecutive measurements $T_0$, $T_1$, $T_2$ at equal intervals, I can end up with two (Newton’s law of cooling) equations where the $e^{-kt}$ term is the same. $$T_{n+1} = ...
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1answer
112 views

Thermodynamic process when nebula is heated

The basic thermodynamics problem is stated as follows. The nebula contains a very tenuous gas of a given number density (atoms per volume) that is being heated to a given temperature. What is the ...
10
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1answer
255 views

Is the liquid/solid line infinite?

Starting from the triple point, is the melting line between solid-phase and liquid-phase infinite? If not, why does it end? Because pressures are so high that classical inter-molecular interactions ...
3
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1answer
270 views

What states of matter are possible at lowest temperature?

Near absolute zero, some materials are superconductors. Other materials are superfluids. Others are Bose-Einstein Condensates. Is there a complete list of possibilities? Or is this still a research ...
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1answer
161 views

Why can we not reduce the size of a system below the correlation length without qualitatively changing its properties?

This question is posed in the context of thermodynamics/statistical mechanics. Suppose we define the correlation length as the $\xi$ in the exponential factor $e^{-r/\xi}$ that appears in the ...
4
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2answers
502 views

Is the proper interpretation of temperature missing in this book?

In Randall T. Knight’s textbook “Physics for Scientists and Engineers” in the first chapter on thermodynamics (Ch. 16: A Macroscopic Description of Matter) one of the first conceptual questions is ...
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0answers
203 views

Constant volume specific heat

A monatomic ideal gas is confined to move in two dimensions. What is the constant volume specific heat for this gas? Consider a system of N independent harmonic oscillators moving in two dimensions. ...
4
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1answer
584 views

How do I calculate the probability that the oscillator is in a certain state using partition function?

So let's say I have a single ($N=1$) quantum harmonic oscillator and the energy is determined by $E_n = (n + 1/2) \cdot \hbar \omega$ (where $n$ is the quantum number and $n$ = $0, 1, 2, \ldots$) ...
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4answers
2k views

Is energy the ability to do work?

Here was my argument against this, the second law of thermodynamics, in effect says that, there is no heat engine that can take all of some energy that was transferred to it by heat and do work on ...
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1answer
143 views

Can I estimate the long-term surface heat transfer coefficient based on a temperature difference between the air surface and ground surface?

I want to estimate the long-term or annual heat transfer coefficient for the earth's surface in a particular area where the mean annual air surface temperature is about 13$^\circ$C, and the mean ...