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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How can anything be hotter than the Sun?

I've heard that if a space shuttle enters the atmosphere from a bad angle its surface will become so hot that it will be hotter than the surface of the Sun. How can that be? It seems to an uneducated ...
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2answers
125 views

gravity affecting a molecules speed? [closed]

Why are the poles colder than the rest ofthe planet?Is the gravity stronger making molecules spin slower?How does gravity affect heat and hydrogen bonds? And what affects gravity?A little off topic ...
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74 views

In $PdV$, what is the value of $P$? $P_1$ or $P_2$?

Say I have an ideal gas that has a known $P_1$, $P_2$, $T_1$, and $T_2$ undergoing a reversible adiabatic process. I want to find the work done so I must use $PV = RT$ to get the change in $V$, so ...
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95 views

Landauer's principle vs Wien's displacement law

Can we argue based on Landauer's principle that if one bit information is changed inside a blackbody, the total radiated energy should be at least or in order of kTln2? If it is so, can we also argue ...
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125 views

What happens to the time it takes for my noodles to cook, and the temperature of the boiling water?

I have a boiling pot of water that I am going to cook my Sponge Bob Noodles in. I am very hungry and want the noodles to cook faster, so I turn up the heat from medium to high.( Note, the water was ...
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231 views

At what depth in the water atmospheric pressure is 100 times greater than on the ground?

At what depth in the water atmospheric pressure is 100 times greater than on the ground? This question comes from the fact that average pressure in Earth( 1000 mbar) is 100 times greater than in ...
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95 views

Thermal Expansion. Is there a way to fix my bottle?

I did something very stupid tonight. I poured hot water into an polyethylene water bottle and it immediately contracted causing it to overflow and burn my hand and leg. I immediately wasted my hand ...
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637 views

Deriving an Expression for Entropy

How to derive an expression for entropy in form of $S = \ln \Omega$ from the form $\displaystyle{S = - \sum_i \; p_i \ln p_i}$ ? That is the last formula taken as a definition of entropy. Just a ...
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221 views

Heat transfer speed - affected by difference in relative heat?

If I put something at room temperature in an environment that is at roughly half room temperature, does it get colder less quickly than if it were placed into an environment with 1/4 room temperature, ...
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338 views

Has anyone theorized a connection between entropy and quantum uncertainty?

I apologize if this kind of idle theorizing is frowned upon here, but I was wondering if it is possible that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is a consequence of quantum uncertainty. I've heard ...
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183 views

Does a water cooker element have to be 100C to get water to cook?

I understand that a water heater element is basically just adding energy to the mass of water in the container. So does that mean that the heater element only has to keep adding energy while the water ...
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884 views

Does opening or closing the window in a non-AC car in the summer affect how much heat is felt inside?

This will perhaps look like a very basic and trivial question. But I find it confusing. As an experience, when you are travelling in non-AC car in summer, have people felt if putting on or putting off ...
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33 views

How to calculate the buoyant force on a balloon at different altitudes [duplicate]

For a project into balloon simulation I'd like to know how the force on a balloon changes with altitude: I know that the Buoyant force on a balloon is: $F = (\rho_{air} - \rho_{helium})gV$ Using ...
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30 views

How are heat transfer rate and heat capacity constant of a material related?

How are heat transfer rate and heat capacity of a given material is related? When I was a kid I imagined it like "Capacity is like a container or bucket of some sort, if it gets filled easily it can ...
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36 views

Scale down model of a refrigerator

I am teaching Thermodynamics. For teaching how refrigerators work I am looking for a working model of a scale down refrigerator. This should be as close to real as possible but very small in size. Can ...
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99 views

How many volcanic eruptions would be necessary per year to neutralize global warming?

Volcanic eruptions sometimes cool the earth. How many eruptions of what magnitude, locality and type would be required per year to neutralize Global Warming?
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53 views

Liquid Nitrogen Expansion to Desired Temperature

I want to take liquid nitrogen in a pressurized container and spray it through a hose onto objects in a room. The container has a pressure regulator so I can adjust pressure as desired. The ...
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44 views

Would incense burn at a different rate if oriented differently?

This is motivated by this question in the Puzzling.SE beta about measuring 90 minutes of time using two candles that burn for one hour. (Feel free to read up on that before I spoil the puzzle!) The ...
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111 views

Heat loss using alternating current

I am looking for somebody who can explain this to me. As I have read in physics books, the Joule-Lenz Law (Joule effect of heating) is represented by the formula: $$ W = I^2Rt $$ which can be ...
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52 views

Not Quasi-static, yet reversible process? Is this a valid example?

Imagine a gas (at room temp. and pressure) enclosed in a thermally insulating spherical container. At some instant, the container instantly expands symmetrically (radially outward) to, say, twenty ...
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83 views

How much energy would it take to maintain the temperature in my pool?

Lets sat that I have a 1000 gallon pool sitting pretty at 82.4 degrees F (28 C). How much energy would it lose on a cold day (50 F or 10 C) and only the top was above ground (25 Sq Feet.) Would ...
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29 views

Air vs. Water attraction of Oxygen Molecules

The air we breathe is made up of nitrogen and oxygen gases. The water in a pond is made of a single hydrogen/oxygen molecule. If it wasn't for the surface tension on top of the water, oxygen molecules ...
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80 views

The entropy of the universe in an irreversible cycle [closed]

Suppose we have an ideal gas performing an irreversible cycle composed by: an isothermal transformation at $T_{1}$; an isobaric transformation at $P_{A}$; an isothermal transformation at $T_{2}$; an ...
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776 views

Why change in internal energy is zero in isothermal process

In isothermal process $\Delta U =0$. But I am having trouble understanding it. Say we have an ideal gas, and say my temperature is constant but I move the pressure, volume from $(P, V) \to (P-dP, ...
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73 views

What is $k$ in Newtons Law of Cooling? [duplicate]

I am writing the definition of quantities for Newton's Law of Cooling and am not sure what to actually call k$,$ or its units. This is what I have so far $$\frac{dT}{dt}=-k(T-T_s)$$ Where ...
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62 views

Why does hydrogen give up its electron to a platinum catalyst?

All descriptions of a Hydrogen fueled fuel cell (such as this one) Start with $H_2$ giving up its electrons to a platinum coated anode. Then the $H^+$ ions (protons really) travel through the ...
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115 views

Why a mono-atomic crystal layer (2D) can't be stable?

According to Peierls and Landau, 2D crystals were thermodynamically unstable. They can't exist! Of course, this theory was disapproved in 2004 (example: graphene). What is the general definition of ...
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70 views

consequences of universe in which second law of thermodynamics does not hold [closed]

What would happen if the second law of thermodynamics was not there for governing in every day processes. Can a universe exist and evolve if the second law of thermodynamics does not exist in first ...
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100 views

Why is the direction of a flame is always upward? [duplicate]

why a candle's flame direction is always upward? What is the coposition of fire? Don't say it's energy. There is something else.
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95 views

Turbofan: Efficiency wrt. the bypass ratio: “a lot of slow air > a little faster air”?

Reading / viewing up on how jet engines work, this video explains at the 9:02 mark that, for turbofan engines, ".. it is more aerodynamically efficient to have a lot of air moving relatively slowly ...
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1answer
48 views

Density as a function of Temperature?

I know that volume = mass/density....and density is the function of temperature. Is there any standard equation that describes density as a function of temperature? The system I am interested in is ...
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102 views

How does electric current generate thermal energy?

How does free electrons moving through a wire cause random vibrational motion of the positive ions?
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93 views

Inequality of Clausius

I'm having some trouble understanding the inequality of Clausius. My treatment of the inequality applies to an engine operating in a cycle between two temperatures (i.e. like a Carnot engine). The ...
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74 views

Mechanism of Hawking's radiation and entropy of the black hole

During Hawking's radiation, a virtual particle with negative energy and mass (from pair of particle and antiparticle) fall into black hole and its real partner having positive energy escape from ...
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3answers
335 views

Why does the bathroom become hot after a bath?

I have noticed many times that whenever I enter into the bathroom just after someone else bathed the temperature inside it would be high. Is it that the body heat comes out when we pour a lot of ...
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1answer
77 views

How does a MRI use 20.1kW yet creates over 204K BTU/h? [closed]

I've been reading through a manual about MRI operating procedures for a large healthcare provider. The manual (written by Siemens) states that the MRI machines use 9kW in stand-by mode and 20.1kW ...
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1answer
68 views

Why does the blade height goes on decreasing in a multi-stage axial flow compressor? [closed]

The axial compressors used in jet engines have their blade heights in decreasing order in the direction of the flow.
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1answer
197 views

Which one conducts heat better: water, or air?

If we were to assume room temperature of 20C, which of the fluids conducts heat better, and why?
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1answer
154 views

What cools off faster a square or a disc?

What cools off faster and why, a square (4 right angles, all sides same length)with an area of 100 inches or a disc with an area of 100 inches. The same material and thickness.
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1answer
196 views

Question about heat engine efficiency

I would like to know how much thermal energy is converted to kinetic energy in a steam engine, or a more efficient means if available. I have done some research and found out that Carnot made some ...
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1answer
57 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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1answer
123 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
128 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
78 views

How long will it take to temperatures of two solids to become equal?

If I have two solids with commmon area where they are touching each other, is there any way for calculating the time it will take to them to become equal? For example, I have two blocks of different ...
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1answer
128 views

Confusion in fourier's law

My book starts section 2.2 like this: Equation 1.1 is this: $$q_x=-k\frac {\partial T}{\partial x}$$ As you can see in the picture I posted, my book says that one can go from equation 1.1 to ...
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1answer
453 views

Dielectric with polar molecules

Suppose a dielectric slab contains polar molecules (which are not further polarisable). When placed in an electric field, (for simplicity, an uniform field), align themselves according to the field. ...
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1answer
310 views

Understanding Charles's Law

Charles's law states that, The volume of a given mass of an ideal gas is directly proportional to its temperature on the absolute temperature scale (in Kelvin) if pressure and the amount of gas ...
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1answer
156 views

Deriving work done on a solid

For a homework problem, I've been asked to show that the work done by increasing pressure isothermally on a solid of mass m is: $$W \approx -\frac{m\bar{\kappa}}{2\bar{\rho}}(P_f^2 - P_i^2)$$ where ...
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1answer
218 views

A really simple question about heat transfer? [closed]

In rectangular coordinates, the heat conduction vector can be expressed in terms of its components $$\vec{\dot{Q_n}}=\dot{Q_x}\vec{i}+\dot{Q_y}\vec{j}+\dot{Q_z}\vec{k}$$ Please explain the meaning of ...
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1answer
116 views

Second law of thermodynamics

I think this is a simple question. If I have that $E(L)=\tau L$ and we are told that $\tau=BTL$ would this mean that $E=BTL^2$ implies $dE=(2BTL)dL$ or should I sub $\tau$ straight into the second law ...