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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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 ...
0
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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 $P = nRT / V$, ...
1
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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
257 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
271 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
162 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
588 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 $n$ = $0, 1, 2, \ldots$) ...
6
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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 ...
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1answer
560 views

Why do phonons cause excellent heat conduction in diamonds?

Phonons are the quantum of lattice vibrations in crystals and are not to be confused with photons, the gauge bosons of the electromagnetic force. Apparently, they contribute to heat conduction, but I ...
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0answers
505 views

Where to place a fan in order to cool a room the fastest [closed]

Imagine I have room that is very hot and it is colder outside. I want to cool it down using a fan. Scenario 1 There is only one door. I have one fan. Where should I put it and which way should it ...
2
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1answer
143 views

fitting van der waals law on real data

For an examples class on thermodynamics, I would like to fit Van der Waals law on data of real gasses, say $CO_2, H_2O_2, CH_4$. I want to set out measurements of pressure and volume at constant ...
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6answers
1k views

Why isn't temperature measured in units of energy?

Temperature is the average of the kinetic energies of all molecules of a body. Then, why do we consider it a different fundamental physical quantity altogether [K], and not an alternate form of ...
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2answers
1k views

Why is temperature constant during melting?

This is an elementary question but I do not know the answer to it. During a phase transition such as melting a solid to a liquid the temperature remains constant. At any lower temperature the heat ...
0
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1answer
123 views

What is the difference of work $W$ and thermal energy $Q$ in thermodynamic Stirling-process for ideal gas?

What is the difference of work $W$ and thermal energy $Q$ in thermodynamic Stirling-process (in simple form) for ideal gas? I think that you need work to preserve this process and you bring thermal ...
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2answers
442 views

Why laundry dry up also in cold/frost?

Why laundry dry up also in cold/frost? When you have frost, water in the clothes should freeze, but if clothes are dry, then it should be possible that steam in the clothes does not have time to ...
3
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1answer
281 views

Rayleigh-Benard Convection

I found this nice paper about RB convection. However I am confused by what is going on page 6. In particular why we are suddenly using Helmholtz equation to find spatially periodic solutions. Aren't ...
3
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2answers
74 views

Wire morphing shape?

Can one morph a wire by electrical current into a shape different than static shape at beginning? As in the beginning shape being in a spiral, then when electrical energy is passed through the wire it ...
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1answer
2k views

Where is the candle hottest?

Where is the hottest spot above a lit candle? In the flame or just above the flame tip or some cm above the flame or other? Update My question more precisely concerns the heat energy I can get from ...
4
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3answers
4k views

How air humidity affects how much time is needed for heating the air?

In cold weathers it is suggested to put a humidifier since the air gets too dry. I wonder how the humidity affects how much time is needed to get the air at a temperature of 20 Celsius degrees? I mean ...
2
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4answers
841 views

Fast cool down of “things” in the kitchen

Is there any fundamental physical reason (thermodynamics/entropy?) behind the fact that there doesn't exist home appliance for fast cool down of food/drinks? I know that there are some methods ...
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2answers
63 views

thermodynamics in air and water

In perspective of thermodynamics,a person can survive a temperature of twenty degrees Celsius in air, but a person cannot survive in water with same temp.(it's not because he can't breathe) why is ...
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3answers
4k views

Does closing curtains 'make your home warmer'?

I mean, in the sense that the act of closing curtains would somehow reduce the amount of heat loss of the house to the outside, thus making it warmer for a given supply of heating.
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1answer
904 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 ...
5
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1answer
216 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: $\ (\frac{\partial N}{\partial \mu})_{V,T} = N (\frac{\partial \rho}{\partial p})_T$ ...
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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
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1answer
127 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, ...
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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
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1answer
601 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
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1answer
155 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
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4answers
283 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
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1answer
716 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
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3answers
527 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 ...
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2answers
323 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?
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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
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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
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3answers
534 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
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2answers
274 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
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2answers
308 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
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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
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1answer
573 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
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3answers
365 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. ...
7
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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
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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
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1answer
774 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
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1answer
377 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 ...