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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Irreversible expansion and time reversal symmetry

Suppose there are N non-interacting classical particles in a box, so their state can be described by the $\{\mathbf{x}_i(t), \mathbf{p}_i(t) \}$. If the particles are initially at the left of the box, ...
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Ice skating, how does it really work?

Okay, some textbooks I came across, and a homework assignment I had to do several years ago, suggested that the reason we can skate on ice is the peculiar $p(T)$-curve of the ice-water boundary. The ...
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205 views

What kind of systems of black holes satisfy the laws of black hole thermodynamics?

I've come across black holes thermodynamics multiple times recently (both at this site and elsewhere) and some things started bugging me. For one thing, first law bothers me a little. It is a ...
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672 views

how to calculate gibbs free energy per unit mass, per unit volume, and per mole?

I've ran into conflicting information on how to calculate the Gibbs free energy of fuels during combustion per unit mass, volume and mole. A sample solution for hydrogen would be really appreciated!
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CPT and heat equation

I haven't understood this thing: Physics is invariant for CPT trasform...But the Heat or diffusive equation $\nabla^2 T=\partial_t T$ is not invariant for time reversal...but it's P invariant..So CPT ...
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How efficient is an electric heater?

How efficient is an electric heater? My guess: greater than 95%. Possibly even 99%. I say this because most energy is converted into heat; some is converted into light and kinetic energy, and ...
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623 views

2nd Law of Thermodynamics

I understand that the 2nd law of thermodynamics roughly states that, if you have a body (or a gas in a chamber) that is hot at one end and cold on the other, the heat will always flow from the hot to ...
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A water drop in vacuum

Let's imagine the following situation: At an initial moment $t=0$, a large water drop with diameter for example $D=10\ \text{cm}$ is placed in deep space (Say an astronaut is experimenting). Let's ...
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Home experiment to estimate Avogadro's number?

How to get an approximation of Avogadro or Boltzmann constant through experimental means accessible by an hobbyist ?
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Why do lightbulbs continue to glow after the light is turned off?

I've noticed that whenever I turn the lamp off in my room at night, the lightbulb seems to continue to glow for a minute or so after that. It's not bright though; the only way I even notice it is if ...
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339 views

How to estimate condensation from air?

How to estimate the amount of water condensing from air on a surface, given the air's temperature and relative humidity and how they change over time, the surface temperature, material's thermal ...
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Maxwell's Demon Constant (Information-Energy equivalence)

New Scientist article: Summon a 'demon' to turn information into energy The speed of light c converts between space and time and also appears in e=mc^2. Maxwell's Demon can turn information supplied ...
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What causes hot things to glow, and at what temperature?

I have an electric stove, and when I turn it on and turn off the lights, I notice the stove glowing. However, as I turn down the temperature, it eventually goes away completely. Is there a cut-off ...
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Why does evenly heating soup with a microwave take so long?

My anecdotal observations (which could be incorrect, they're totally unscientific) indicate that it takes almost as long to evenly heat a big bowl of soup in a microwave as it does to heat it on the ...
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Would wearing clothing that is black on the inside and white on the outside keep you cooler?

The Straight Dope ran an explanation of why nomads often wear black clothing - it absorbs heat better from the body. On the other hand, white clothing reflects sunlight better. Is it possible to get ...
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498 views

Intuitively, why is a reversible process one in which the system is always at equilibrium?

A process is reversible if and only if it's always at equilibrium during the process. Why? I have heard several specific example of this, such as adding weight gradually to a piston to compress the ...
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Law for tap water temperature

I was wondering if anyone put together a law to describe the rising temperature of the water coming out of a tap. The setup is fairly simple: there's a water tank at temperature T, a metal tube of ...