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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365 views

Using the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution function to find specific molecule speeds?

I've been looking for problems to practice on this topic and found a problem asking to use the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution function to calculate the fraction of Argon gas molecules with a speed of ...
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1answer
180 views

Can exergy and exergy destruction be understood through thermodynamical and/or statistical-mechanical principles?

My textbook Fundamentals of engineering thermodynamics, Moran and Shapiro states: The exergy is the maximum theoretical work obtainable for an overall system consisting of a system and the ...
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1answer
84 views

Change of heat capacity fluid when you add solvent

I am considering a liquid for which I know $C_p$ or $C_v$. I am wondering how this changes when you add a (minor) amount of solvent to the liquid. Is there a general theory around describing how a ...
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2answers
291 views

Why do some beverages stay cold longer than others?

For my daughter's science experiment, she placed six beverages (cola, diet cola, milk, chocolate milk, apple juice, and water) in the exact same amount in the exact same type and size of plastic cups, ...
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2answers
249 views

Continuously feeding an evaporating micro-black hole?

What would happen if you created a micro-black hole and could continuously feed it as quickly as it evaporates? Is it possible that it would remain relatively stable? If so, how might such a thing ...
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1answer
304 views

Entropy with infinite baths

I'm struggling with the following problem: (Stephen J. Blundell, Concepts in Thermal Physics S. 154 Problem 14.5): A block of lead of heat capacity 1kJ/K is cooled from 200K to 100K in two ...
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2answers
262 views

Is everything 100% efficient at heating?

Everyone always talks about the efficiency of their appliances. I was wondering if everything was 100% efficient at heating its surroundings ?
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1answer
356 views

How certain is the heat death of the universe?

According to our current scientific knowledge, how certain is it that heat death shall be the ultimate fate of our universe, and why? Are there any serious hypotheses competing with heat death, and if ...
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3answers
948 views

Is the total energy of earth changing with time?

Many years ego, Earth was hot. Over time, it has lost energy and has become colder. Is it now in equilibrium or is its total energy changing?
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1answer
654 views

Why the dissolution of hydrophobic compounds decreases the entropy of water molecules in the vicinity of the solute?

The following is a quote from Lehninger's Principles of Biochemistry, 4th edition, pg.52: (...) dissolving hydrophobic compounds in water produces a measurable decrease in entropy. Water ...
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2answers
385 views

How does a dehumidifier work?

I have read sites like this, but I am just not getting it yet. I'm looking to understand the variables involved, which I think are: air moisture content air flow (cfm?) condenser surface area? ...
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1answer
179 views

Maxwell relations, confused on how the solution got to this answer

I have a problem where, basically, in part (a) I correctly found a fundamental equation $$TdS = dE - 2\sigma l dx$$ Then the problem goes on to say that the only parameters of interest are $x$ and ...
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1answer
2k views

Adiabatic expansion in van der Waals gas [closed]

Given a Van der Waals gas with state equation: $$\left( P+\frac{N^2 a}{V^2}\right)\left( V-Nb \right)=NkT,$$ show that the equation of an adiabatic process is: $$\left( ...
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0answers
32 views

Why put something in the middle of the pan would prevent soup coming out during cooking? [duplicate]

I see a website which teach people to put something on top of the pot during cooking soup to prevent the soup coming out during cooking. What is the physical theory behind that?
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1answer
114 views

Can anyone explain the idea behind dS ∝ dV/V?

In a lecture on entropy, one of the equations $dS ∝ \frac {dV}{V}$ was explained as "a fractional change in volume as a measure of the increase in randomness" (related to $\frac{dQ}{T}$) How does ...
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1answer
255 views

What is the temperature of a quantum particle in a box?

Some simple examples in textbooks include simple 1D systems such as particle in an infinite potential well or in harmonic oscillator potential. It is also said that at absolute temperature of the ...
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1answer
69 views

Pressure derivative of bulk modulus

Hi all what is the definition of pressure derivative of bulk modulus if it is a pressure derivative of bulk modulus at zero pressure. if the pressure is zero how it is derivative by pressure?
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0answers
124 views

What's the typical material used as a low-k ILD in semiconductors?

Semiconductor companies (namely IBM, Intel, TSMC and etc.) may use different low-k materials as inter-layer dielectric (ILD) in their fabrication process. I'm wondering what is the most typical one. ...
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1answer
179 views

Why does water ($\mathrm{H_2O}$) only have two distinct fluid phases?

Water (and other substances) can exist in many distinct solid phases (with different crystallic micro-structure), but only in two fluid phases - liquid and gaseous, in which the molecules are oriented ...
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2answers
74 views

Temperature-induced wavelength shift of optical coatings?

Optical coatings designed for reflection or anti-reflection are made of many thin layers which will expand when heated. What will the effect be on the wavelengths the coating will reflect when the ...
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2answers
92 views

Will the heat flow of Joule heat be different, if the Joule heat is dissipated in a material that has a temperature gradient beforehand?

Let us assume one dimensional heat transfer, for example a finite length wire starting at point $0$ and ending at point $\ell$. If the current passes the wire, the Joule heat $I^{2}R$ will be ...
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1answer
75 views

What thermal conductivity coefficient should I be using when modeling a heatsink?

Using the finite difference model for heat transfer, I am trying to model the heat flow into a heatsink. However, I am unsure of what k value or coefficient of thermal conductivity to use. Should I be ...
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12answers
16k views

Why are radiators always placed under windows?

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this but in most buildings and most rooms, radiators are predominantly placed under a window. Now, in my eyes, that is the worst place to put them; hot air ...
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1answer
213 views

Thermodynamics and wall insulation [duplicate]

Australia's history has been littered with the problem of how to manage safety in bushfires. The local fire authority recommend consideration be given to preparing a bushfire management plan, deciding ...
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1answer
339 views

Is temperature-induced change in the volume of balloons dependent on gas?

Which balloon will have higher relative change in volume, helium balloon immersed in liquid nitrogen or air balloon immersed in liquid nitrogen? Since volume is directly proportional to temperature ...
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1answer
320 views

Strange behaviour of water drops on a heated pan

I did an experiment in my home and I was surprised by the results. I heated a pan without anything in it. After some time it became very hot and I took some water (2 drops) and put it into the pan. It ...
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0answers
151 views

Trace of the number operator in second quantization

I would like to find the helmholtz free energy of a system $F=-T ln(Tr[e^{\frac{-H}{T}}])$ namely a bcs superconductor (using Annett's notation) $H=\sum E_k (b_{k\uparrow}^\dagger ...
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1answer
876 views

Why is it that a Carnot heat engine will reject no heat to a zero temperature sink?

Looking at the equation for Carnot efficiency, I notice that as the temperature of the heat sink approaches zero, the efficiency approaches unity: $$ \eta_{rev} = 1 - \frac{0}{T_H} = 1 $$ Seeing ...
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1answer
216 views

Molar heat capacity of gas defined by relation $p=kV$

we have this problem where relation between Pressure($p$) , Volume($V$) is defined by relation $$p=kV$$ where $k$ is a constant and we have to find the molar heat capacity of the gas. Note:Ideal gas ...
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2answers
137 views

Absorption of radiation due to temperature

I was wondering if the temperature of an object affects the amount of radiation it absorbs. For example, if I have a box that is hotter, will it absorb more energy as compared to the same cooler box? ...
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5answers
2k views

Does decrease in temperature affect mass $E=mc^2$?

My understanding of Quantum physics and String Theory is very basic and I don't yet have a grasp on the maths, but in my research I have come up with a question. Does a decrease in temperature also ...
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0answers
199 views

Definition and Measurment of Energy and Heat in Thermodynamics

The concept of work is clear from mechanics, where $dW=F\cdot dx$, leading to $dW=PdV$. Also different forms of energy are defined in mechanics, e.g., $E=\frac{1}{2}m v^2$, etc. How are the energy and ...
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2answers
172 views

Are $G$, $F$ and $H$ (thermodynamics potentials) extensive quantities?

Internal energy $E$ is an extensive quantity for most systems. But energy extensivity is not valid in systems with long-range interactions, like gravity (e.g. in astrophysical systems). For extensive ...
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3answers
1k views

Electric heating rod

I usually heat my bathing water with electric heating rod, I always thought that the base of rod is an insulator so that it can develop high heat. But when I tried touching water while rod was dipped ...
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1answer
133 views

What are the experimental observations behind the first principle of thermodynamics?

As far as I understand it, the first principle of thermodynamics is a mere definition of the quantity “Heat”: $$\text d Q: = \text d L + \text d U.$$ This is somewhat the point of view taken in ...
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2answers
99 views

What is the effect of phase transition on the thermodynamic state variables of a material?

When a material undergoes a phase transition, it releases an amount of heat (under a specific temperature). So the effect of the phase transition on entropy would be equal to: \begin{align} ...
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1answer
151 views

Was Joule's experiment able to show: thermal energy = $mgh$

Is my understanding of this experiment correct? There is the quantity $MC\delta \theta$ associated to the heat which I think is not an absolute value to be compared with $mgh$ since the $\delta ...
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3answers
372 views

The cooling curve of tin during solidification

I'm going to measure the freezing point of tin by recording the cooling curve. It sounds like a dull experiment because all I have to do is to heat up the tin, wait for it to cool, and the computer ...
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4answers
529 views

Doesn't the use of a thermometer alter the temperature of the system?

If I place a mercury thermometer in hot water, heat energy will transfer from the water to the mercury inside the thermometer. Will this continue until thermal equilibrium is reached and thus the ...
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2answers
3k views

Is thermal/heat energy the same thing as internal energy?

I learned that internal energy of an object is the sum of the kinetic energy and potential energy of the molecules of the object. Is this energy the same thing as the heat energy the object contains?
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2answers
159 views

How do you keep a fridge full of food cooler?

I just graduated and a mate moved into a flat (none of us are physicists by the way). So, were graduates, we got a new flat, and were broke. So, were now having a debate on how to keep a fridge ...
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1answer
1k views

Burning VS Melting: What is the relation in the atomic/molecular structure?

This has never been asked before on this site, so I thought I would ask this to help future searchers, passerbys, or others understand this better. What are the key differences between burning ...
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1answer
81 views

Tungsten Wire Heat discipation

Background Information: I'm doing an experiment in which I place a bare tungsten wire in to various liqids, to measure a coefficient $\alpha $ in the equation $$ Power Dissipated = \alpha * \Delta T ...
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1answer
124 views

Explain entropy (again)

I think I understand entropy finally. Will you verify for me? $$S = k_B \ln( \Omega)$$ where $\Omega$ (the multiplicity) is the degeneracy of the system at some energy (E)? So if the system is a ...
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1answer
288 views

Will entropy continue to increase even if the universe begins to contract?

If the universe is heading for a big crunch, when the universe starts to collapse will entropy decrease and the arrow of time consequently reverse or not? I'm interested in the explanations, not just ...
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2answers
157 views

Can you confirm 2 simple statements about vaporization?

Vaporization is an interesting engineering subject, but unfortunately much about it has always been unclear to me. Recent research of mine has brought my mind to link vapor pressure to boiling and ...
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0answers
99 views

Do vortex tubes work with a reversed end plug?

Would a vortex tube still work if instead of a cone plugged into the 'hot' end you had a smaller hole on the 'cold' end? As I understand it, the point of the cone on the hot end is to only allow the ...
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64 views

Transitions in a magnetic refrigeration

The graph below (see attached) shows the measured magnetization against temperature at room pressure for the material Gd and for another material for use in a magnetic refrigerator at room ...
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2answers
435 views

One way insulation?

I know from basic physics lessons that a box painted black will absorb heat better than a box covered in tin foil. However a box covered in tin foil will lose heat slower than a black box. So what ...
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2answers
544 views

Probability of Different States - Canonical Ensemble - Partition Function

Consider a canonical ensemble of $N$ ideal gas atoms, which could have spin up or spin down. Why is it that the probability of finding the particle in a spin up state generally only involves the ...