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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What groups of symmetry are most suited for filling uniformely a spherical 3D space, whilst possessing the lowest possible surface-to-volume ratio?

I am looking for the closest known approximate solution to Kelvin foams problem that would obey a spherical symmetry. One alternative way of formulating it: I am looking for an equivalent of ...
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1answer
761 views

How is NASA's mod II Stirling engine so powerful yet so small?

Is it because of the temperature difference? I just don't understand how it can propel a car. Here's the link to the engine: ...
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1answer
659 views

How effectively does heat flow through copper wire?

If I have a line of copper wire (lets say 1 meter long, 1mm thick) and one end is a flattened disk of copper about the size of a quarter, and I apply a lot of heat to it (I'm talking 800 Celsius) will ...
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1answer
33 views

Is using water in a charcoal smoker less efficient than not using water?

I have a charcoal smoker that uses water. My understanding is that the water serves as a buffer and as a way to add moisture to the cooking environment. Some say that using water wastes fuel because ...
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1answer
70 views

Second law of thermodynamics and motion

The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems spontaneously evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium—the state of ...
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1answer
5k views

How do I predict volume loss due to evaporation when boiling water?

Suppose I have a pot with diameter $D$ containing a volume of water $V$, being heated by a flame under it. If the ambient air temperature is $T$ and relative humidity is $R$, how can I calculate the ...
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2answers
220 views

Debye temperature for the steel?

I'm looking for data on Debye temperature of steel (ideally with a known carbon concentration, structure, and set of phases), but find only data on elements. Do You happen to meet the data in papers, ...
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3answers
4k views

Realistic calculation of heat loss for pipe

Good day everyone, I am new on this site and I hope to find here help, since I am not going anywhere with the literature I have found. I try to calculate realistically the heat loss of a hot, ...
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1answer
139 views

How do Stirling engines work?

How do Stirling engines work? I understand the heating and cooling of air, but how much faster (or more force, I'm not sure which to use) does the piston move per degree Celsius that the temperatures ...
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7answers
5k views

Is it possible to “cook” pasta at room temperature with low enough pressure?

It is known fact, that boiling point of water decreases by decreasing of pressure. So there is a pressure at which water boils at room temperature. Would it be possible to cook e.g. pasta at room ...
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1answer
68 views

How to calculate the heat of a metal?

Lets say I leave 100g of copper outside under a convex lens that is 1m squared in surface area (I've been told that 1m2 of sunlight equals 1Kw). How would I figure out the temperature reached for a ...
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3answers
2k views

How to freeze the Niagara waterfalls?

Here is a picture of the usual vigorous Niagara Falls (in the winter). Here is the picture of Niagara Falls frozen in 1933 (in the very cold winter). Here is the picture of Niagara Falls frozen in ...
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1answer
406 views

How do I calculate the curve of a parabolic mirror to melt the ice from my street gutter?

I want to make a concave parabolic mirror that will have a focal point six inches below where I place it (on the edge of the sidewalk) so that it will melt the ice collecting in the gutter below and ...
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1answer
76 views

Radiation pressure thermodynamic paradox

Could the radiation pressure of a black body (theoretically) perform work on the perfectly reflecting apparatus in the figure below? Assume that the block does not hinder the passage of light through ...
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1answer
174 views

Air conditioners and the law of conservation of energy?

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I have often been told that air conditioners are more efficient than an electric heater, because, the story goes, if you put say 1 kW of electricity in the ...
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1answer
63 views

Does thermal energy change within a chamber depending on what's in it, where it is, what it is?

I have noticed that some people will say that, when you put more mass in an oven, it takes longer for both to cook than if just were one. Some others will say that timings are the same. Assume we ...
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4answers
477 views

Is there any optical component that uniformizes the incoming light?

Is there any optical component in existence that uniformizes randomly pointing rays?
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2answers
415 views

Is energy released during change of state?

When a substance changes state from solid to liquid, the temperature of the substance remains the same and the heat energy from the external source is converted to potential energy within the ...
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1answer
799 views

Is temperature of a single molecule defined? [duplicate]

Is temperature of a single molecule defined? This question just cropped up in my mind as I have often heard of laws being violated when it comes to the scale of a single molecule. Does this happen in ...
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2answers
233 views

Why does the coefficient of performance need to be calculated with $W + Q$?

How much work must a heat pump with a COP of 2.50 do in order to extract 1.00 MJ of thermal energy from the outdoors (the cold reservoir)? The first formula that came into my mind after reading ...
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3answers
133 views

Temperature of thermally isolated space region

If we thermally isolate a region in space, say using a hypothetical material of $0$ conductivity, and measure the region's temperature, will it be 2.7K?
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3answers
4k views

How does blood/saliva boil in outer space?

Why would the blood boil? Is it because of the temperature or pressure? Because I really can't figure it out. I thought space didn't have a temperature above freezing unless close to a star or the ...
2
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1answer
990 views

What is the difference between $Q=\Delta U+W$ and $\Delta U=Q+W$?

Is $Q=\Delta U+W$ for when the the work is done from the system while $\Delta U=Q+W$ is for when the work is done by the system? Will anybody explain this to me, please? When do we use $Q=\Delta ...
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0answers
296 views

Radiative cooling time for a black body

Okay, so this is confusing me a bit. How can I calculate the time it takes to cool a perfect black body from an initial temperature $T$ down to equilibrium temperature (say, 3 K for space)? I know ...
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3answers
500 views

What is the relationship between the second law of thermodynamics and evolution?

On one hand evolution seems to drive against the second law in that it creates a state of (locally) higher order. On the other hand the second law seems to drives evolution - in the sense that it ...
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10answers
3k views

Why are the laws of thermodynamics “supreme among the laws of Nature”?

Eddington wrote The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in ...
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158 views

Does the radius of the Universe correspond to its total entropy?

I heard a claim that due to holographic principle, the surface area of the cosmic horizon corresponds to the universe's total entropy. As such the initial state had zero surface area and later ...
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1answer
84 views

Steam bath physics

In the steam bath at the health club, why is the "steam" thicker first thing in the morning before it has been used all day and the walls are "hotter"?
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2answers
233 views

Separation of variables in various PDEs, physical meaning

The method of separation of variables produces an undetermined separation constant and a family of solutions indexed by the values of this constant. For instance, in the case of an infinitely long ...
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3answers
781 views

How do charge carriers move thermal energy? (Peltier effect)

I am having hard time understanding how the charge carriers (electrons and holes) are able to move thermal energy. I am on a high school physics level, so I will probably have a hard time ...
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1answer
116 views

Heat balance: how to obtain T(t) with energy in the form u(T(t))

I have the heat balance equation for a cooling case in the form: $$\frac{dU(T(t))}{dt}=-J$$ with $U$: energy (J) $T$: temperature (K) $t$: time (s) $J$: heat flux leaving the system (W) I have ...
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1answer
117 views

Does salt $NaCl$ as a solid float in molten salt?

I know ice floats in water because it's crystalline structure causes $H_20$ solid to be less dense than $H_20$ liquid. Is the same true for salt because it is crystalline? If not why?
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2answers
177 views

Why is a vacuum cleaner not as good heater as an electric radiator?

I've read this question and answer: How efficient is an electric heater? , but still don't understand. If I have an electric radiator it heats the room with 1000 Watts of power. And I feel the room's ...
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1answer
388 views

Temperature rate of change inside a cylinder

I was wondering about this today, mainly for baking a cylindrical cake. Say you have a solid cylinder which is at temperature T0 inside. Say you then move the ...
2
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0answers
79 views

Time needed to heat water in a pot [closed]

I have a pot with water of mass $m$ and it is heated by a stove element of temperature $T_E$ and with a surface area of $A$. The water starts at temperature $T_W > 0^\circ\, C$. How ...
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1answer
85 views

Converting heat into energy [closed]

I'm currently building a custom desk. In this desk I will also build-in a small part with a custom electronic panel to provide power to USB devices. As my gaming pc generates a lot of heat and the ...
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1answer
223 views

How do you define a reversible path for general processes?

The equation $dS = \frac{\delta Q}{T}$ is only defined for a reversible path. Given a irreversible path we typically calculate the entropy by choosing a reversible path from the same initial to final ...
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1answer
189 views

Name for thermodynamic derivative $dP/dT|_V$?

While trying to express the isoentropic sound speed as partial derivatives of $V$ and $T$ only I end up, as part of the longer expression with $dP/dT|_V$ (which according to a Maxwell relation is the ...
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3answers
1k views

Can a glass window protect from heat radiation?

I have been reading in this and found a statement saying : " Glass will not transmit heat radiation.". So now I am confused. If glass won't transmit heat radiation, then why do we feel hot when we sit ...
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1answer
79 views

Temperatures at extreme densities

Cosmology (and astrophysics) talk about the "initial singularity" (IS, became the big bang) and "black hole singularities" (BS, inside black holes), and these appear to be quite different: The IS is ...
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1answer
177 views

What happens when a black hole dies?

It just vanishes into space leaving nothing behind or does it expel some material? Also, talking more about black holes, as far as i understand the term "temperature", it is defined by the amount of ...
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1answer
628 views

Why isn't temperature frame dependent?

In (non-relativistic) classical physics, if the temperature of an object is proportional to the average kinetic energy ${1 \over 2} m\overline {v^{2}}$of its particles (or molecules), then shouldn't ...
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0answers
81 views

Expression of $\kappa_S$ in photon gas

I'm calculating some properties of the photon gas. That gas is defined by $$U=aVT^4$$ $$P=\dfrac{1}{3}aT^4$$ I calculated photon gas entropy: $$S = \dfrac{4}{3}aT^3V $$ I could calculate $c_V$. ...
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2answers
658 views

What's the difference between work in thermodynamics and mechanics?

What is the difference between work in thermodynamics and work in mechanics?
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1answer
1k views

Adiabatic proccess and Carnot cycle in a photon gas

I am making a comparation between the photon gas and the ideal classic gas for my Thermodynamics class. The photon gas is defined by the equations: $$U=aVT^4 $$ $$P=\dfrac{1}{3}aT^4$$ I found this ...
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2answers
168 views

Rayleigh-Taylor Instability dependence on acceleration direction

I'm trying to bolster my understanding of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, and I've gotten stuck on the point of which fluid (more or less dense) is being accelerated into the other. Cases of uniform ...
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1answer
200 views

Do superheating and supercooling only occur from liquid?

Superheating of a liquid past its boiling point (retarded boiling) is a well-known phenomenon. However, is there such a thing as supercooling of gas past its condensation point? Conversely, ...
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0answers
895 views

What is the difference between heat and work

If 700 J of work is applied onto a gas, and therefore the gas contracted 0.005 m^3 (from 0.01m^3), and the temperature stayed at a constant rate of 300 kelvin, then how come when pressure is added to ...
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2answers
5k views

How do you calculate the change in temperature of an adiabatic system?

I really don't even know how to start doing this problem. I understand PV=nRT and I understand that if either T, V, or P is kept constant, then the other 2 change at the same rate, and I understand ...
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313 views

Does coffee with cream cool slower than black coffee?

At Modernist Cuisine, Nathan Myhrvold states that "Coffee with cream cools about 20% slower than black coffee". He then gives three reasons, two of them related to radiation and the third one to the ...