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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396 views

Thermodynamics Work Done At constant pressure and charles law

If we fix a piston in the mouth of a cylindrical container in such a way that the piston settles when the pressure from outside the piston is equal to that of the gas within the container, and ...
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2answers
369 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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2answers
26 views

Maximal work from cooling a portion of water

Let's consider a portion of water of mass $m$. We want to find out how much work (electric energy) we can acquire by cooling it from temperature $T_1$ to temperature $T_0$. The most efficient way is ...
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7answers
4k views

Drying clothes with the sun's heat, without any air

Will my wet clothes dry if I hang them under the sun, and if there is no air around the clothes? In other words, do I need both air and heat to dry wet clothes, or is heat alone (in the imagined ...
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1answer
68 views

Apparent Contradiction in Helmholtz Free Energy

I am looking at some mathematics of HelmHoltz free energy. Naturally, wikipedia is one of the (hopefully) more reliable sources of information. In its derivation section, the last equation states that ...
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2answers
575 views

Blackbody radiation and emissive power

According to blackbody radiation theory, and thanks to Planck, we now know that there is a energy density, $u(\lambda,T)$ [$J/m^3$], associated with a certain wavelength at a particular temperature. ...
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3answers
250 views

Is the Boltzmann brain problem really clearly established as a problem?

Starting from the assumption of a cosmology in which Boltzmann brains dominate over evolved ones, it is not immediately obvious to me that there is a real problem, since only Boltzmann brains ...
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2answers
1k views

Why is pale coloured skin said to absorb more UV?

Many resources state that light skin/pale skin absorbs more UV than dark-colour skin. Doesn't black absorb maximum radiation? For an example, see this article: Natural selection therefore ...
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3answers
145 views

Is liquid helium expensive because of its rarity or because of its low liquidification temperature?

I once argued with my roommate about this problem. Of course it is rare. But presumably the low liquidification temperature makes the cost high too. So which is the primary reason?
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1answer
435 views

Change in entropy of the Universe for charging/discharging a capacitor

I just need to know what exactly happens when charging/discharging a capacitor. Is there any heat transfer between the capacitor and the surroundings? Is there a heat transfer between other parts of ...
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4answers
2k views

The unreasonable effectiveness of the partition function

In a first course on statistical mechanics the partition function is normally introduced as the normalisation for the probability of a particle being in a particular energy level. $$p_j=\frac{1}{Z}\...
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1answer
96 views

Is thinner glass more heat resistant?

I heard that vessels made of thin glass are more heat resistant (less likely to crack) than those made of thick glass. Is that true, if so, and why? On one hand, heat propagates more quickly through ...
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1answer
302 views

Do magnetic fields cause ionisation of gases?

I am doing my final year engineering project on Magnetic Field Assisted Combustion and was curious to see what people thought about it. Companies sell rare earth magnetic arrangements to be attached ...
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1answer
61 views

Specific heat ratio range [closed]

I know that the specific heat ratio, $\gamma$, exists in the range $1 <\gamma< 2$, and I am required to demonstrate a proof of this. I have come across the following proof (but I don't really ...
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1answer
867 views

Speed of sound of a gas mixture

Is there a general mixing rule for estimating the speed of sound of a gas mixture, given the speed of sound in the components? From the ideal gas relation: $$c = (kRT/M)^{1/2}$$ (where k is the ...
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0answers
48 views

Pressure change in throttling & flow rate reduction in a water circulation

If the pressure in a water pipe line is reduced from 7kgf/cm2 to 4 kgf/cm2, what is the % reduction in flow rate?
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5answers
3k views

What exactly is fire? [duplicate]

What is fire? Is it a wave or is it matter? Where does fire come from? Does everything burn with fire? (for example: water and some metals don't burn).
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1answer
117 views

Steady State For An Air Conditioner

Here's the problem I'm trying to solve (from Blundell's Concepts In Thermal Physics): I just don't understand what "steady state" exactly means here. Does it mean that the temperature of the house ...
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1answer
674 views

Significance of Reversible and Irreversible Process

I would like to ask the following questions: What is the significance of reversible and irreversible nature of thermodynamic process? (I understand that reversible processes are quasi-static, ...
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1answer
80 views

Does the rate of heat dissipation slow as the temperature differential between the heated object and the surrounding environment decreases?

Does the rate of heat dissipation slow as the temperature differential between the heated object and the surrounding environment decreases, or is it constant? To put this into context, picture the ...
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1answer
139 views

General relation between power density of any engine and dissiapation rate and temperature

Many years ago ( before my university studies ) I read that renewable resources are fundamentally limited by laws of thermodynamics to produce energy very slowly (low specific power or power density) ...
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2answers
181 views

Violently shaking object

Would violently shaking something cause a temperature change? For example, if a container of water was shook violently enough; would it be possible to make it boil?
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2answers
1k views

What happens to a body, initially at 300K, kept in isolated space? Will it's temperature drop to 0k?

With regards to Thermal Radiation, given a stable body initially at 300 Kelvin placed in isolation, after continuous Thermal Radiation will it's temperature gradually reduce to 0 kelvin asymptotically?...
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0answers
63 views

What will be the final temperature of water when heating at a a rate 10J/s?

If I supply heat of rate 10W to water of mass 250g and initial temperature of water is 29 degC then what will be the final temperature of water when steady state is reached. **Water is heating in open ...
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1answer
109 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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2answers
90 views

Using Maxwell's demon alongside quantum mechanics to contradict 2nd law of thermodynamics

Suppose we have a steady state universe with a gas chamber resembling that of Maxwell's demon that is used to power this hypothetical heat engine as molecules transfer to their respectable sides based ...
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0answers
38 views

Water as heat source in a heat pump

Consider we have water flowing in a pipe, which is working as a hot source for a heat pump. We are able to know the temperature of the water in both ends of the pipe, yet we don't have information ...
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1answer
36 views

The potential profile of two batteries in series

I would like to know the potential profile in two batteries in series, like the battery in the attached image.
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1answer
135 views

Can sound frequency create more ideal conditions for fire?

You may have seen the recent story of a device that engineers claim can extinguish flames using sound frequency. An older article loosely explains the theory behind how this works: Sound travels ...
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1answer
99 views

Why is $\int_{s} \mathbf{h}\cdot \mathbf{n} da = - \dfrac{dQ}{dt}$ & not $\int_{s} \mathbf{h} \cdot\mathbf{n} da = - \dfrac{dQ}{dt} .{dt}$?

I was reading the Lectures of Feynman about surface integral where a situation in which heat is conserved has been dealt. Let there be $Q$ heat energy present inside a body. Now, if there is net heat ...
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1answer
286 views

Why temperature of liquid drops after spraying thru a nozzle?

We have tested in our lab as mentioned in the picture. We connected hot water at 130degree F at 40Psig to a nozzle(bottle sprayer).we measured the temperature differences inside tank and after ...
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2answers
235 views

What is the correct form of heat diffusion equation taking into account temperature dependence of specific heat

What is the correct form of the heat diffusion equation in 1D if we take into account the temperature dependency of specific heat capacity? $$ \rho\frac{d(cT)}{dt} = \frac{d}{dx}\bigg(k\frac{dT}{dx}\...
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2answers
228 views

How to calculate liquid pressure regardless of the gravity?

Assume we have a balloon in a tank filled with a liquid , without any gravitational forces: We just know the Temperature, $V_0$ and $V_1$ I want to calculate the pressure exerted from the liquid on ...
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2answers
1k views

What would it be like “inside” a star?

This question was triggered by a discussion regarding the computer game Elite: Dangerous, where spaceships routinely operate in close proximity to stars (two or three light seconds away), at which ...
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1answer
103 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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2answers
56 views

Which is a more effective cooling method?

Assume I have a refrigerator at 0C and I put a can of soda at the center of the refrigerator. The temperature inside the refrigerator will be increased to 5C after I put the soda in, but will go back ...
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1answer
3k views

When to use h = Cp∆T or u = Cv∆T

I'm getting myself confused on when to use h = cp∆T or u = cv∆T where cp is the specific ...
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0answers
24 views

How do I calculate temperature diffusion in a gas contained in a heatsink?

To simplify the problem, consider a sphere with a diameter of $25\mathrm{mm}$ inside an infinite heatsink at $300\mathrm{K}$. At $t=0$ I instantaneously raise the temperature of the gas in the ...
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0answers
77 views

Is the diffusion coefficient time-dependent?

It is known that in the partial differential equation: $$u_t=au_{xx} $$ within the limits $0<x<1$ and $a>0$, the diffusion coefficient, arises in the mathematical modelling of a process of ...
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0answers
74 views

Is it possible to efficiently extract phonons from a lattice?

The population inversion generated in lasers occurs in multi-level atomic systems. As an example, the Nd:YAG energy diagram is shown below. The pump pushes the Nd ions up to the upper levels, and ...
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0answers
81 views

Convection and radiation heat transfer

It's been some years since my last physics exam and I really need a refreshment in this. I'm stuck in getting a rough estimation of heat exchange between 2 objects separeted by air: let's say object 1 ...
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3answers
252 views

Entropy change in an irreversible process between 2 equilibrium state

Calculating entropy change in an irreversible process between 2 states requires computing the change in entropy for any reversible process between the 2 same states, but why? If someone could provide ...
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1answer
614 views

Do some of the laws of thermodynamics break down in quantum mechanics?

I do not know if this is a stupid question as I am not an expert in thermodynamics and certainly no expert in QM. So, we know that the laws of thermodynamics are laws based on statistics. They ...
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1answer
51 views

Spin correlation function identity

The correlation function G between two spins is usually defined as $$ G=\langle \sigma_a \sigma_b\rangle - \langle \sigma_a\rangle \langle\sigma_b\rangle $$ The $\sigma$ are the value of the spins (+...
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0answers
56 views

How fast do I have to dry myself for a hot shower to heat my body?

I am not a physicist. I would like to know how fast do I have to dry myself after taking a hot shower to get more heat from the shower, than lost because the water on my skin increasing heat exchange ...
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1answer
490 views

What is meant by a “stiff” or “soft” equation of state (wrt neutron stars)?

I am currently trying to understand the history of the development of the equations of state and structure of neutron stars. In my textbook, I frequently encounter phrases such as "The ...
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1answer
37 views

Rough/ballpark thermodynamics and black body temperature question

This is probobly pretty basic but I got into a debate with someone and the temperature of Titan came up, and I did some quick and dirty calculations - as follows. Titan is about 9.5 times as far from ...
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1answer
867 views

Can bulk modulus ever be negative? Can somebody illustrate with an example!

I was particularly confused when my teacher proved that $C_p > C_v$ for substances other than ideal gas for which the difference between the two is R . However the proof involved assuming that the ...
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0answers
53 views

Are reversible and irreversible processes frame dependent?

since it is all about time. If I have a look at an irreversible process from a frame where time runs really slow. is there a possibility of considering that process reversible from that frame?
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3answers
249 views

Why does the system move until equal temperatures are obtained?

In my college level thermodynamics class, the teacher gave us the example of a closed system which consisted of a box thermally insulated. A piston fully divides the box in two parts, and each is ...