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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678 views

Would a small puddle of water evaporate faster if you spread a dry towel over it?

Let's say you spill 10ml of water on the kitchen counter. It forms a small puddle that would evaporate after a while (assuming room temperature and sane humidity). Would spreading a large, dry towel ...
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1answer
257 views

Isentropic vs Total pressure

I am confused between these two quantities: Isentropic pressure and Total pressure. Are they the same?
0
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2answers
159 views

Combined gas law in an open atmosphere

The question was asked about pressure vs. Volume increasing in an ideal gas as temperature is increased. My question then is this. What is the formula to determine how much volume and pressure will ...
6
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0answers
151 views

How to obtain the free energy of the canonical ensemble in Euclidean general relativity?

If the gravitational field couples with matter fields, such as a charged scalar field, I know the partition function of the grand canonical ensemble naturally relates to the path-integral expression ...
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2answers
5k views

In an ideal gas, if temperature increases, will pressure or volume increase?

This question came up when I was talking about the atmosphere. Someone had mistakenly claimed that as temperature increases, the density of the atmosphere should increase as well. I reasoned from the ...
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1answer
732 views

Energy provided to piston in compression and exhaust stroke?

In the compression stroke of a petrol engine, the mixture is compressed by the upward movement of the piston. From where does the piston get energy to compress the mixture? Similarly, in the exhaust ...
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3answers
29k views

What is the sign of the work done on the system and by the system?

What is the sign of the work done on the system and by the system? My chemistry course book says, when work is done on the systems, it is taken positive. When work is done by the system, it is taken ...
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2answers
452 views

Difference between a quantum process and a thermal process?

I was reading an article online pertaining to quantum mechanics and I stumbled across these few sentences. A look at the corresponding energy regimes shows (Beck and Eccles 1992) that quantum ...
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2answers
632 views

Cooling down a container in outer space

If I have two containers filled with very hot water(~210F) with one in outer space and one on earth, which one has a higher rate of cooling initially? Imagine the containers are single wall metal ...
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2answers
1k views

Why do moving particles emit thermal radiation?

While answering another question about heat in an atom, the discussion in the comments led to the question of how heat is related to thermal radiation picked up by infrared cameras. The answer is that ...
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1answer
159 views

What cause scientists to study Black Body Radiation?

After spending hours understanding what exactly Black Body radiation and Ultraviolet catastrophe is, I cannot help myself asking what was the reason that make scientists such as Wilhelm Wien and Max ...
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1answer
300 views

How to heat swimming pool with physics principles [closed]

I'd like to apply physics principles to a home-experiment relating to my swimming pool. The water should flow inner to 100 meters of black pipe and so it should become warm. Then it should return in ...
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0answers
32 views

Decompression cooler

How would I figure the needed pressure differential to freeze water inside a cooler using ambient air? I am assuming that the combined gas law would apply here and that the formula P1•V1/T1=P2•V2/T2 ...
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1answer
205 views

“Quantum version” of Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution

Is there a "quantum mechanical version" of the classical Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution for monatomic ideal gases? I'm quite new to thermodynamics, but I just wanted to know. If there is such a ...
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1answer
2k views

What is heat and how does it effect an atom?

What happens in the atom when it gets heated or cooled and turns into gas, liquid or solid? I just want to know how does heat affect an atom.
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1answer
684 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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0answers
83 views

Compressibility and specific heat: interconnectedness and independence?

Consider a Mott insulator (insulator arising from strong correlations). This is an incompressible phase i.e. it costs energy to add a single particle to it; the ease of compression (compressibility) ...
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1answer
214 views

Temperature of rod if end points are different temperature [closed]

How does the temperature vary along the length of the rod if its both ends are at different temperature. As an example, consider the problem: 20 cm long rod has rod at one end 100 ºC and another ...
2
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1answer
116 views

What are the state functions telling me or how are they related to total energy?

I am quite new to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics so this might be an easy question: In thermodynamics you get a bunch of thermodynamics potentials, so as for example enthalpy, internal ...
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4answers
9k views

On a hot day, when it's cooler outside than in; is it better to put a fan in an open window pointing inwards or outwards?

If it's really hot inside, but cooler outside; what is the best way to place a single fan to try and cool a room down? I always assumed it would be better pointing inwards (and this thread suggests ...
3
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1answer
475 views

What is a chemical potential good for?

I read that the definition of the chemical potential is, that it is the partial derivative of the Free energy with respect to the number of particles, $$\mu=\frac{\partial F}{\partial N}.$$ ...
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0answers
83 views

Biological Themodynamics - What does an endpoint saturated signal mean. How does it relate to equillibrium constant

I have had a question that has been bugging me for a couple of years in my graduate school career, and I was wondering if perhaps some physicist could help explain it to me. Given an endpoint assay ...
10
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2answers
271 views

In a large city how much hotter on average is it outside due to the air conditioning of all the buildings?

Title pretty much states the question. How much hotter do air conditioning units make it outside in a large city like NYC, Chicago, etc?
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1answer
156 views

How can I determine (measure?) if spraying my A/C condenser with water will make it operate more efficiently?

My brother had an idea for a DIY project and I am curious if the science works out well enough to try it. The idea is to collect rainwater then mist it onto the air conditioners condenser coils (the ...
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1answer
77 views

why does air temperature change with density?

As hot air in the atmosphere rises it expands and cools at the same time. If the air cools though, shouldn't its density increase?
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5answers
5k views

Why does wet skin sunburn faster?

There is a popular belief that wet skin burns or tans faster. However, I've never heard a believable explanation of why this happens. The best explanation I've heard is that the water droplets on the ...
6
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1answer
263 views

How to derive a physical model of temperature above the earth surface?

At a point on the surface of the Earth, if I go straight "up" a distance $z$ (radially outward from the Earth), I'd observe a temperature profile $T(z)$. The conventional wisdom from the meteorology ...
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2answers
237 views

scaling of motor power

For car engines, the cylinder volume is often associated with the engine power, which suggests scaling of the power as $L^3$ where L is the linear size. Consider a system consisting of a motor and its ...
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0answers
57 views

Can I run a pulse tube cooler in reverse to generate pressure oscillations?

Since a pulse tube cooler is basically a Stirling engine without moving parts running "in reverse", does that imply that when I keep the cold end at ambient temperature and apply heat to the hot end, ...
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1answer
158 views

Dimensional analysis of magnetic energy: dimensions of µ0 and H

When calculating the energy difference between the normal and the superconducting state in a superconductor at zero magnetic field, the result is as follows: Now I'm quite confident of this result, ...
7
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1answer
275 views

How do ice spikes form?

I recently saw this picture posted on Twitter which shows a so-called ice spike rising from an ice cube tray. I have read the Wikipedia page, but it doesn't mean much to me. My instinct was that it ...
2
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1answer
111 views

Would a super-hot object launch itself into the air?

In this XKCD What If, an indestructible hairdryer outputs 2 GW of power, turning the earth under it into gas: Periodic explosions of gas beneath the box launch it into the air, and it starts fires ...
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3answers
224 views

How “things” radiate electromagnetic radiation? [closed]

How things radiate electromagnetic radiation? I don't ask why they radiate (higher temperature than 0K) but how they radiate this electromagnetic waves?
2
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1answer
265 views

Is a tankless water heater more or less efficient than an electric stove at heating water?

Consider the following scenario that I actually encounter frequently: I just finished washing a pot in the sink, and now I want to boil some water for cooking noodles. If I fill the pot with hot ...
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1answer
454 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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2answers
56 views

Paraphrasing speed and heat capacity [closed]

Can we call speed the change in distance per time? Further, would you phrase heat capacity as change in heat per temperature or change in temperature per heat? The reason for this question is that ...
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0answers
57 views

commutators in an uncertainty relationship derived from a partition function?

The maximum information principle for the discrete case gives rise to a partition function (>>> see details here) $$Z(\lambda_1,\ldots, \lambda_m) = \sum_{i=1}^n \exp\left[\lambda_1 f_1(x_i) + \cdots ...
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0answers
78 views

commutator to entropy in an uncertainty relationship?

Question: Does there exist a commutator to entropy in an uncertainty relationship? Similar Energy and time for instance.
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2answers
125 views

Extreme heating by Sun on Earth- Can eggs be fried?

Will it be possible to fry eggs in Sahara desert by just keeping them under the sun? If so, then will the radiated eggs be any different? Or will we have to use the solar cooking concept to some ...
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1answer
441 views

Calculating the amount of dissolved gases in a liquid?

The most basic situation, water at room temperature, has dissolved oxygen, CO2, and more. Why is this? How would one calculate how much gas should be dissolved in any given liquid?
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0answers
113 views

Traditional Transfer Matrix on the Potts model — how it grows for strip lattices?

What is the transfer matrix size for a strip lattice of width $n$ vertices, with arbitrary $q$?? I am not sure if it is $q^n$ x $q^n$ or something else. Any reference is also welcome.
2
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1answer
252 views

Where does additional heat energy come from in isothermal step of Carnot cycle

According to widipedia: During step 1 (isothermal heat addition or absorption) the gas is allowed to expand and it does work on the surroundings. The temperature of the gas does not change ...
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1answer
610 views

Costant volume gas thermometer [closed]

I have two constant volume gas thermometers, one with an ideal gas $pv=RT$ and the other following the Van der Waals equation $(p+\frac{a}{v^2})(v-b)=RT$. They are calibrated using the freezing point ...
1
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1answer
568 views

How is the distribution probability in the canonical ensemble derived?

I'm confused by the derivation of the canonical ensemble, namely the origin of the probability density, that is the Boltzmann factor. Here's what I have: We have a system of particles with ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Are two thin blankets significantly warmer than a single thick blanket?

Almost every source I can find online maintains that two 0.5 cm blankets are significantly warmer than a single 1cm blanket due to air trapped between the thin blankets. However, the thermal ...
-1
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1answer
142 views

Heat Sink Design-Choice of Material [closed]

I am currently designing a heat sink for OPA 549. Among the many considerations, for example, the choice of material, the geometry of heat sink, the design of fins and all the parameters that come ...
3
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2answers
148 views

The heat equation in relation to smoothing algorithm

Recently I learned about a technique in image processing, which has its roots in something called the 'heat equation' from physics. The original creators of this technique were inspired by the physics ...
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4answers
4k views

Can you make ice red hot?

This video clip allegedly shows an otherwise unspecified ice cube that turns red hot (and burns) due to induction heating. Can somebody explain how this works?
3
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2answers
1k views

Simple thermodynamics basics - can internal energy be calculated?

Well this got me stumbled, because I've been wondering what the "question" is. One of the example examns got the following question (strangely there are no supplied solution books): A $0.2 {\rm ...
6
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1answer
229 views

Can solar furnace achieve higher temperature than sun surface? [duplicate]

Can solar furnace achieve higher temperature than sun surface? I guess not, but I'm not sure about that. Can you check my reasoning: -------- My reasoning ----------- Consider Sun as a black body ...