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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Heat Exchanger Calculation

I have a tank of oil at 55 degrees c. I plan to run a copper pipe 8mm in diameter (1mm thickness) into a coil 15m long inside the tank. For all purposes of assumption, the copper pipe is perfectly ...
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161 views

Minimal Maxwell's Demon

I would like to understand where the waste heat is generated in the Maxwell's demon problem. To this end I've come up with the simplest scenario I can think of. If my scenario is workable I am hoping ...
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1k views

Does high entropy means low symmetry?

According to Bogolubov postulate (various texts name it differently) in Non-equilibrium thermodynamics, the number of needed parameters to describe our system is decreasing with time, and finally at ...
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2answers
419 views

What is the ion drag mechanism in dielectric heating?

While reading about dielectric heating on Wikipedia, I read about the ion drag mechanism but there wasn't enough information about. I know there is another Phys.SE question talking about the ion drag ...
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438 views

Why do non-stick frying pans work?

Modern non-stick frying pans use a mixture of titanium and ceramic that is sandblasted onto the pan surface, and then fired to 2,000 °C (according to Wikipedia). Can anyone explain (at the molecular ...
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3answers
508 views

Does the volume of a thermodynamic system always have to change for it to do work?

Does the volume of a thermodynamic system always have to change for it to do work? If yes,could you explain why? And if no, could you provide the example of a system, where it is not neccesary.
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855 views

What arrangement of sound waves would be needed to heat air in a typical sized room?

From what I understand, sound is simply the jostling of the molecules that make up the air in a specific pattern, widely known as waves. I also know that these are longitudinal waves. If we were to ...
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371 views

Why can $\beta$ not be linearly proportional to $T$, that is $\beta = constant \times T$?

$\beta$ in statistical mechanics is equal to $\frac{1}{k_BT}$ in in thermodynamics, but I do not understand why $\beta\propto T^{-1}$ instead of, say, $\beta\propto T$?
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128 views

What are the properties and impediments of a liquid air fueled engine?

I recently came across a very interesting article that suggested the possibility of using liquified gases like air, nitrogen, or oxygen as a power source for cars. It appears that this company is ...
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223 views

I need help with this question on Heat Capacity

A calorimeter has a Heat Capacity of $70 J/K$. There is $150g$ water with a temperature of $20^oC$ in this calorimeter. In this, you put a metal cube of $60g$ with a temperature of $100^oC$. The ...
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1k views

Area under a $pV$ diagram

What does the area under a Pressure volume diagram equal? I read in my textbook it equals 'external' work done, but why is this? First of all, what exactly is external work? Can you get it ...
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396 views

What would jumping into a pool and feeling cold be called? Conduction, or convection?

This was another question from my son's workbook. It said: ...
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313 views

Temperature and density

As temperature rise the density become lower,When temperature goes down, density is higher but in higher temperature the body become bigger so why density become lower?
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464 views

Thermodynamically reversed black holes, firewalls, Casimir effect, null energy condition violations

Scott Aaronson asked a very deep question at Hawking radiation and reversibility about what happens if black hole evolution is reversed thermodynamically. Most of the commenters missed his point ...
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2answers
255 views

Question about thermodynamic conjugate quantities

I've come across the Onsager reciprocal principle. It's almost clear, except for thermodynamic conjugate quantities - what's that, physical meaning (except the formal definitions: $X_i = ...
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1k views

Why does the law of increasing entropy, a law arising from statistics of many particles, underpin modern physics?

As far as I interpret it, the law of ever increasing entropy states that "a system will always move towards the most disordered state, never in the other direction". Now, I understand why it would ...
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286 views

Simple heat transfer question [closed]

You add an unknown volume of milk of $5.2 ^\circ C$ to a cup of coffee ($40 mL$ of water, temperature: $80.3 ^\circ C$). After a while of stirring the temperature reaches $73.2 ^\circ C$. The ...
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12k views

The difference between heat and temperature

So as I understand it, heat energy of an object is the SUM of all the kinetic energies of the molecules of the object (upto constant factor). The temperature on the other hand is the AVERAGE of the ...
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227 views

Temperature of a gas (assumptions about the particle speeds)

Temperature is related to average of particles kinetic energy. I would like to ask about a singular state of a particle system of a little time interval. The question is: If all particles were ...
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2answers
128 views

Why is the gas halo of the Milky Way so hot?

I have read on the webpage of NASA that there is a massive hot gas halo around our galaxy. Its temperature is between 100,000 and 1 million Kelvins or more. I do not understand why is it so hot. The ...
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2answers
7k views

Calculating work done on an ideal gas

I am trying to calculate the work done on an ideal gas in a piston set up where temperature is kept constant. I am given the volume, pressure and temperature. I know from Boyle's law that volume is ...
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4answers
377 views

Does entropy decrease through measurement?

For an electron in its rest frame, we have an entropy $$ S = \log 2, $$ which comes from the 2 possible spin directions along z-axis. If the measurement $S_z$ changes its state to $\left| + ...
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54 views

Action on Lard Oil

If water is mixed with lard oil and heated (creating some super-critical liquid with water), how does this affect the volatility of the mixture in comparison with its purity..? So, My question is: ...
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693 views

How does blow-drying a mirror keep it from steaming up again?

After a hot shower, the mirror in my bathroom steams up. When I try to clear it with a towel, it immediately refogs. Yet once I use my hair-dryer, it will clear the fog and the mirror will stay clear. ...
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196 views

Calibrating an electronic temperature sensor based on power consumption

I'm working with an electronic temperature logger that is being affected by heat generated internally. How does one come up with a calibration equation to calculate a more accurate reading of ambient ...
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1answer
913 views

Adiabatic expansion [closed]

I'll start off by saying this is homework, but I ask because I don't understand how the math should work (I don't just want an answer, I'd like an explanation if possible). I understand if this is ...
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112 views

Could we really charge metal plates using microwaves?

While skimming through Dielectric heating, I read that they use microwaves to charge the plates. How do they do that?
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190 views

Proof of quantum mechanical position uncertainty

How can you prove the uncertainty for position is: $$\Delta{x} =\sqrt{\langle x^2\rangle-\langle x\rangle^2}$$ $\Delta{x}$, taken to be the root mean square of x. $$\Delta{x} =\sqrt{\langle ...
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46 views

Free Energy and quantum measurement

Free Energy must be expended to reset the state of an measurement apparatus. Is this statement valid in all situations? Is there a Definitive mathematical exposition?
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4k views

What equation of state is needed for liquid states?

I'm familiar with the ideal gas law $$PV=nRT$$ but I don't think it applies to liquids like water. If I'm wrong, please correct me! If I'm right, then what equation of state applies to liquids such ...
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205 views

Measurement of the energy of an atom using a cold substance

An atom was prepared in a superposition of ground state and excited states.I propose to measure the state by coupling the system to a cold enough substance. By cold enough I mean $$kT\ll E_1,$$ where ...
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Why do reversible processes not increase the entropy of the universe infinitesimally?

The book Commonly Asked Questions in Thermodynamics states: When we refer to the passage of the system through a sequence of internal equilibrium states without the establishment of equilibrium ...
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2answers
2k views

What causes the vacuum in my bento box?

I can't think of a good title for my post, sorry about that. I've got a lunch box (called a bento box) Basically it's a plastic box with a plastic lid with a rubber rim around the lid to create an ...
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901 views

Which one true in First law of thermodynamics: $Q = \Delta U \pm W = \Delta U \pm p\Delta V$ or $\Delta U= \Delta Q + \Delta W $?

Which one true in First law of thermodynamics: $Q = \Delta U \pm W = \Delta U \pm p\Delta V$? (where $\Delta U$ is change of internal energy, $W$ work made by system and $Q=cm\Delta T $ heat made ...
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211 views

Is it true that the mass of air in normal atmospheric pressure over 1$m^2$ is 10326 $kg$?

Is it true that the mass of air in normal atmospheric pressure over 1$m^2$ is 10326 $kg$? I calculated it from pressure formula $p=\frac{F}{A}$. Let $m=?, A=1 m^2 and p=101300 Pa$. ...
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64 views

Performing work on a box of gas by lifting it, and first law of thermodynamics

What happens if we lift a box of ideal gas? Work is done to the box but no heat is getting into it. So does it's internal energy increase by the amount of work done? Or is it that lifting is not ...
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294 views

Ideal gas and diatomic gas with same temperature

If a box of ideal gas and another box of diatomic gas are in thermal equilibrium, does it mean that the average translational energy of ideal gas particle (A) is the same as that of diatomic gas ...
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326 views

Can we make a Maxwell's Demon using Quantum Computers?

Although I'm reasonably sure that quantum computing advances will not lead to the ability to construct a machine that globally violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it feels like a difficult ...
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4k views

Work Done by an Adiabatic Expansion

I am given the information that a parcel of air expands adiabatically (no exchange of heat between parcel and its surroundings) to five times its original volume, and its initial temperature is 20° C. ...
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3k views

Work Done in an Isobaric Process

I am given the information that an air parcel undergoes isobaric heating from 0° C to 20° C, and that's all I'm given. I have to determine the work done by the parcel on its surroundings. I know that ...
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4answers
2k views

Physics of a burning log of firewood

According to my knowledge, heat is nothing but the result of the vibrations of atoms and molecules. I guess this mean that in heating up a gas or liquid, we are increasing the rate at which the ...
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2k views

Energy in bolognese reduction - lid on or off?

Generally, to let my bolognese thicken, I leave the lid off in order to "let water vapor escape." I am however distracted from enjoying the taste because I'm having doubts that my physical reasoning ...
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239 views

Work done by introducing a spin in supersposition into a Magnetic Field

A spin is created in a superposition of up and down states. A magnet is moved very slowly, towards the spin. What is the work done by the magnet. It may be helpful to imagine that the magnet is ...
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3answers
281 views

Schrodinger and thermodynamics

I heard that Schrodinger pointed out that (classical/statistical) thermodynamics is impaired by logical inconsistencies and conceptual ambiguities. I am not sure why he said this and what he is ...
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223 views

How to evaluate heating value on the basis on these data?

Heating value of liquid-gas mixture was tested with primus which has gas burner. In the initial state aluminum container with lid protected from the wind has temperature of 0 celsius and in it 0,54 ...
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444 views

Why there is no negative temperature [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Prove that negative absolute temperatures are actually hotter than positive absolute temperatures Proof of existence of lowest temperature $0 K$ On the Kelvin ...
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388 views

What forces are at play when molecules wiggle (due to heat)?

What forces are at play when molecules wiggle (due to heat)? Or in other words, What makes them move?
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625 views

Are negative temperatures typically associated with negative absolute pressures?

Negative temperatures and negative absolute pressures are both possible in physical systems. Negative temperatures arise in (for example) populations of two-state systems, which have a maximum amount ...
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656 views

How to properly bake a ultra high vacuum chamber?

I need to get rid of water excess in my vacuum chamber, and for that there is the procedure of baking. In order to do that there are several things that one needs to consider, the power, heat load, ...
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202 views

Gas pressure equalisation: Where does the excess energy go?

Assume for purposes of discussion a closed container with a concentration of gas on one side and near-vacuum on the other. We could let the gas pressure equalise naturally, or we could construct a ...