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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446 views

What is tricritical point?

Critical point is the transition temperature of a second order phase transition. But what does tricritical point mean? WIki says that a tricritical point is a point in the phase diagram of a system at ...
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2k views

How is it possible to equate the internal energy at constant volume with the internal energy of an adiabatic process?

I hope my question makes sense. My problem is that, I have read through numerous textbooks that $$nCdT = -PdV$$ (where $NC$ is constant volume) when deriving the relationship between $T$ and $V$ for ...
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59 views

What is the coefficient $\mu_\text{air}$?

I am answering some exercises in thermodynamics, and I am still in trouble with some values and constants. In the exercise, it is given: $\mu_\text{air}=1.8\cdot10^{-5}~\text{kg/m s}$. What for is ...
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207 views

What is the term for heat generation by a flowing fluid?

I would like to know more about the heat distribution over time in a flowing liquid. To this end, I consider the Navier-Stokes equation (where the coefficients may be temperature dependent) and the ...
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2k views

How does a thermal temperature gun work?

I once worked as a kitchen porter over a winter season. We had fun with thermal temperature guns (like these) which I learned can be used for measuring the temperature of something a reasonable ...
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1k 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? ...
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180 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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173 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 ...
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285 views

An explanation for the Landauer's principle

Has anyone understood the Landauer's principle? What is the current status? In specific, is there a theoretical derivation of the Landauer's Principle?(not the heuristic one based on Salizard's ...
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759 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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1k 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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7k views

What makes water boil?

Basically how boiling takes place? Also like to know... What makes boiling point alter at various altitudes? Why bubbles rise through boiling water?
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205 views

Double internal energy, how much will the entropy change?

Approaching the following question Imagine we have a collection of $N = 100$ simple harmonic oscillators. The total internal energy is $U = q \epsilon$ where $q$ is the number of energy ...
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471 views

Calculating temperature of water in the freezer

Assuming water volume ($V$), initial water temperature ($T_0$) and environment temperature ($T_e$) are known, what is the easiest way to calculate temperature of water in given time ($T$)? For the ...
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2k views

Thermal Energy from Friction on a Rope

Question: A capstan is a rotating drum or cylinder over which a rope or cord slides to provide a great amplification of the rope's tension while keeping both ends free. Since the added tension in the ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the physical or mathematical meaning of the Gibbs-Duhem equation?

The Gibbs-Duhem equation states $$0~=~SdT-VdP+\sum(N_i d\mu_i),$$ where $\mu$ is the chemical potential. Does it have any mathematical (about intensive parameters) or physical meaning?
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743 views

Heat absorbed by a room

How can one calculate the amount of heat absorbed inside a room in a single day using the temperature readings of the day? If the temperature has to be reduced from 30C to 20C how much heat should be ...
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5k views
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166 views

In the Niagara Falls, which factors prevent rise of T H2O falling a certain height?

I need some ideas on a problem. The first part says: Whats the posible rise in the temperature of the water falling 49.4 m in the Niagara Falls? That one was easy, with answer 0.112 Kelvin. ($\Delta ...
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935 views

Finding coefficients of volumetric expandtion from a know coefficient of linear expandtion

Starting from a homework problem: An aluminum cup of $100 cm^3$ capacity is completely filled with glycerin at $22°C$. How much glycerin, if any, will spill out of the cup if the temperature ...
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2k views

When a gas expands against an external pressure of 0, must the stopper on the cylinder be massless?

Basically, I need to conceptually understand why the work a gas does is the integral $\int p_\mathrm{external}dv$ and is 0 when pressure external is 0. I understand why $\mathrm{d}w = - ...
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556 views

Given two boiling temperatures and pressures, how can I find the latent heat?

I am given the fact that at a certain pressure a liquid boils at a corresponding temperature, at a different pressure it boils at a different temperature, and then I am asked to find the latent heat ...
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1k views

How does liquid convert to gas on getting thermal heat energy?

Say for example, when we heat, water converts to steam gas. How does it happen? What happens underneath giving rise to breaking of bond between molecules in liquid state and spreading them in gas ...
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142 views

How does the period of a temperature fluctuation affect the depth to which the ground freezes?

On account of the annual fluctuation of temperature the ground at the town of Ν freezes to a depth of 2 metres. To what depth would it freeze on account of a daily fluctuation of the same amplitude? ...
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123 views

Is there a timeline in urban area night temperature?

Fact: We all know that during the day concrete absorbs heat and releases it during the night, making urban areas hotter than rural areas. I observed that after sunset the ambient temperature is going ...
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1k views

Work for constant volume compression by adding moles of gas

I often see the expression $W = V \Delta P$ for the work of a constant volume compression where there are a fixed number of moles and the compression is caused by heating. Is this the work equation ...
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213 views

Cooling via the quantum vacuum?

Suppose you had an isolated cloud of gas at a low temperature in a vacuum with no external sources of radiation (e.g. no CMB). The gas would clearly cool via the emission of low-energy photons. But ...
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207 views

Why do regular lattice elements heat up faster?

For example iron. A metal spoon heats up much quicker than a wooden/plastic one. Why?
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37 views

Struggling with whether its $\pm p dV $

I am struggling to understand when calculating the work done by a gas whether it is postive or negative p. It my notes and in many other notes sometimes it is $-pdV$ and sometimes it is $pdV$. I ...
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39 views

Rain system movements and highways?

In my free time I sometimes enjoy watching the weather or radar and trying to predict how a rain system will move. Pretty often I notice that a small rain system or even a large one will congregate or ...
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1answer
16 views

Understanding view-/formfactor for radiation with a specific example

There is radiation coming from a point source (black body). How much of the total emitted energy (from the point source) hits a spherical surface given by $\phi = 0 - \pi $ and $\theta = 0 - \pi/2 $? ...
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58 views

Mechanical equilibrium : thermodynamics and classical mechanics

A similar question was asked here but mine is a bit different. In thermodynamics, a mechanical equilibrium is defined as a uniform pressure (for a fluid). In classical mechanics, equilibrium is ...
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34 views

Paramagnetic/ferromagnetic transition under a magnetic field

The paramagnetic/ferromagnetic phase transition is an archetypal example of a continuous (or second-order) phase transition. When the temperature $T$ approaches the Curie temperature $T_c$, the ...
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2answers
36 views

when a steam is being liquified, does its temperature change or not?

Here is a question: When ice is being melted, its temperature doesn't change. So, when a steam is being liquified, does its temperature change or not? And is the heat transferred here calculated by ...
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19 views

Measured temperature (thermometre set to emissivity of 1) of smooth surface too high or to low?

We want to measure the temperature of a smooth flat surface with a thermometre based on absorption of thermal rays. The emissivity setting of the thermometre is set to 1 (same as a black surface), ...
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49 views

Internal reversibility

The concept of reversibility always gives me a hard time.In a reversible process the change of entropy is zero. On the other hand for irreversible process it is not.But there comes another topic which ...
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2answers
74 views

How do we know that the Law of Cooling is true?

According to James Stewart's Calculus book (exercise 14, page 609), Newton’s Law of Cooling states that the rate of cooling of an object is proportional to the temperature difference between the ...
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33 views

COP of Stirling engine

If we consider the theoretical maximum of COP for a heat pump, we will see that it is possible to make it infinite by approaching the temperatures of each source to each other. Yet, in a real engine ...
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44 views

Why is the Specific Heat of Helium 36 times greater than Xenon?

Given that these are single atoms, why should the specific heat difference be so great? And more specifically, why does it take 36 times as much energy to raise the temperature of a given mass of ...
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68 views

Heat loss from water surface heated in a room

I have one question regarding total heat losses from water surface. Water is heated with immersion heater in open condition in a room. Heat losses from the top of the pan to air is to be calculated. ...
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1answer
82 views

Entropy - does Heat Death occur in a closed system

Does heat death occur in a closed system? (Assuming you can theoretically have some sort of "closed system".
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72 views

What is thermodynamic equilibrium?

The state of thermodynamic equilibrium is typically defined referring to the system's behaviour in the future. Can the definition be formulated in terms of measurable quantities?
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59 views

Accessible system where specific heat and thermal conductivity vary in different ways?

I'm teaching undergrad thermo this semester and to my surprise several students are having trouble conceptualizing heat capacity and thermal conductivity as different properties; they can apply them ...
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64 views

Proof of the Boltzmann factor

The following derivation of the Boltzmann factor is obviously wrong, or incomplete: $$p(E) \propto \Omega(U-E)$$ Consider the Taylor expansion of $\ln\Omega(x)$: $$\ln\Omega(U-E)\approx \ln ...
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33 views

What can I do with specific entropy and quality on a state (Rankine Cycle)

I've been working some Thermodynamics problems on Power Cycles and I have noticed that if I'm given a specific quality at the exit of the turbine and considering the adiabatic process I will have two ...
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2answers
125 views

Are sound waves adiabatic or isothermal?

I am doing a presentation on sound waves and I need to know if they are adiabatic or isothermal. I know that they can generate heat, but is the amount of heat created so small that it can still be ...
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63 views

Where do limits of integration come from in the equation of heat transfer by conduction?

I was watching the third lecture of Diffrential equations on OCW. As an application, the model of heat transfer by conduction is provided. We derived this equation which models the system where $T$ is ...
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63 views

Joule Thomson effect

I have difficulties to understand the Joule Thomson coefficient given on the wikipedia page. It says that $(\partial_p T) = \frac{V}{C_p}( T \alpha -1)$. Now my problem is that I don't know about ...
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1answer
30 views

Can a Fermi gas and a Bose gas be both at the same pressure and temperature?

The title says it all: can a Fermi gas and a Bose gas be both at the same pressure and temperature? It comes from a quiz about statistical mechanics
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109 views

Meaning of chemical equilibrium between two phases

Suppose two phases 1 and 2 of water, say ice and water, are kept in a closed container, at a fixed temperature $T$ and fixed pressure $P$? Then I have the following question: Is phase 1 in ...