Covers the study of (mostly homogeneous) macroscopic systems from a heat/energy/entropy point of view. Maybe combine with [tag:statistical-mechanics].

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
1answer
29 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Physics of a burning log of firewood

According to my knowledge, heat is nothing but the result of the vibrations of atoms and molecules. I guess this mean that in heating up a gas or liquid, we are increasing the rate at which the ...
1
vote
1answer
232 views

Maxwell's Demon bug, trapdoor space and time

What about the size of the door (space) and how long has it to be opened (time)? I think Maxwell's demon would have a problem with space, if the door is too wide (more than one particle size), then ...
1
vote
2answers
413 views

Why doesnt this violate 2nd law of thermodynamics?

Consider an ideal gas in a cylindrical container in a gravitational field, with a piston on top pushing down by gravity. The piston has some locking mechanism that locks it in place if it is displaced ...
1
vote
2answers
233 views

Second law of thermodynamics implies a linear cosmology?

If one applies the second law of thermodynamics to the Universe[1] as a whole then one might expect that the entropy of the Universe always increases as time goes forward (or more accurately that the ...
0
votes
3answers
671 views

Why isn't the Bekenstein-Hawking Entropy considered the quantum gravitational unification?

Based on the Bekenstein-Hawking Equation for Entropy, hasn't the relationship between quantum mechanics and gravity already been established.
0
votes
1answer
370 views

Does heat always rise?

Does heat always rise in a gravitational field? I recently read that heat could be traveling down to the deep part of the ocean. Is there some new or old physics that makes heat sink?
0
votes
2answers
254 views

Why are some of the biggest stars known blue?

My question refers to an overview of the biggest stars we know: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4138/4820647230_faba1c9f3b_o.jpg Why are some of those blue?
0
votes
4answers
76 views

Boyle's law- what's the big deal if temperature is not constant?

Boyle's law: At constant temperature of the gas, the volume of a given mass of a gas is inversely proportional to its pressure. So, Boyle's law is talking about isothermal condition,right? But, ...
0
votes
4answers
166 views

How to measure the energy consumption class of a home appliance? [closed]

Some of you may be familiar with the EU energy consumption classes for domestic appliances (or equivalents in other areas). Let's say we have a domestic appliance which was made before the energy ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

Measurement of heat in electrons

Is there any method to measure the heat of an electron and if there is; then is it a constant or a variable.
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Why cannot wood be fully burnt?

Burning wood emits smoke and black. Provided more oxygen or whatever required, can wood be practically burnt fully like petroleum gasses that emits a blue flame and little smoke and little black.
0
votes
1answer
286 views

Ideal gas temperature and pressure gradients?

Consider an ideal gas in a $d\times d\times L$ box with the $L$ dimension in the $x$-direction. Suppose that the opposite $d\times d$ sides of the box are held at temperatures $T_1$ and $T_2$ with ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

How can there be heat in a vacuum?

I keep reading in the Physics World focus issue on vacuum technology about scientists creating high temperatures in the vacuums etc. If heat is caused by thermal energy being radiated from particles ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

If the specific heat capacity depend upon the temperature, what formula we should use instead of $Q=mc\Delta T$

Recently, I learned that specific heat capacity is not constant in different temperatures and it depends on the temperature.If I have diagram like this (consider that the red part is a quarter of ...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

Why is there a limited range of possible soap bubble size?

Soap bubbles are never "too small" or "too large". What defines the range of possible diameters of a soap bubble? Related questions: Why do steam bubbles increase in size as they rise, Why is the ...
0
votes
3answers
525 views

Why can the entropy of an isolated system increase?

From the second law of thermodynamics: The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is carbon dioxide a greenhouse gas? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What experiments prove the greenhouse effect? I am seeking for a proof that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. I posted this on Skeptic.SE recently but found no help in seeking ...
0
votes
2answers
137 views

What to do when you are sitting in a closed room without any fan or AC

I suffered this today, when the solar panels of our college stopped to work. Imagine a situation in which you are sitting in a botany lecture conducted by a 73 year old man, who cannot speak loud and ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

Is it possible to have $\Delta T\neq 0$ with no heat exchange $Q=0$, no work $W=0$ done, and no change in internal energy $\Delta E=0$?

Is it possible to have $Q=0$, $\Delta E=0$ and $W=0$, but $\Delta T\neq 0$? In particular, if there is no change in internal energy, doesn't that imply it is an isothermal process, and therefore that ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Heating a black body

By definition, Black body has absotivity=emmisstivity=1. This means the black body radiates all energy it accepts. Does this mean the black body cant be heated?
0
votes
2answers
1k views

How temperature gradient is a vector?

Everyone knows Temperature gradient is a vector quantity having direction from cold to hot.My confusion: why is temperature gradient vector if its direction is always fixed (as in the case of ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Plotting the maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution in matlab

I'm trying to plot a maxwell-boltzman velocity distribution in matlab. I have also asked this question at cross validated without much luck The PDF is f(v)=sqrt(m/2*pi*k*T) * exp(-m*v^2/2*k*T) ...
0
votes
2answers
506 views

Why laundry dry up also in cold/frost?

Why laundry dry up also in cold/frost? When you have frost, water in the clothes should freeze, but if clothes are dry, then it should be possible that steam in the clothes does not have time to ...
0
votes
1answer
943 views

Salt and boiling speed

When we add a compound (salt) to a solvent, the boiling points rises. But, what could we say about the speed the solvent reaches the boiling point? It's better to add salt before or after boiling ...
0
votes
1answer
224 views

Is this a simple system in which no heat transfer is possible?

Let's say that a hot gas is trapped in a metal box. This metal box is magnetically suspended in another structure with a low temperature. The inner box does not touch anything. And there is a void in ...
0
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the most energy efficient way to boil an egg?

Starting with a pot of cold tap water, I want to cook a hard-boiled egg using the minimum amount of energy. Is it more energy efficient to bring a pot to boil first and then put the egg in it, or to ...
0
votes
3answers
44 views

Why radiant heat only travels as infra-red waves and not as other types of em waves like UV rays

Heat is a form of energy and em waves carry energy as momentum of photons. So, I think, radiant heat can travel at any frequency. Please correct me.
0
votes
2answers
94 views

requirements for hydrogen fusion

What are the requirements for hydrogen atoms to go through fusion? Is it a ratio of heat to pressure or are there specific heat and pressure values that must be met (per atom or per mole?) Are there ...
0
votes
4answers
339 views

Is vapour pressure based on partial pressures or just total pressure on the liquid?

The explanation for the boiling point of water is that at 100C, the vapour pressure becomes greater than atmospheric pressure. But say you had a a jar of water sealed in argon at 1atm, which is larger ...
0
votes
2answers
561 views

Difference between pressure and stress tensor

What is the difference between hydrostatic pressure and stress tensor?
0
votes
4answers
254 views

'Polar Vortex' Boiling Water to Snow is Mpemba Effect?

I am based far away from the icy storm currently blanketing the US - the 'polar vortex'. However, I have seen in the TV news footage of reporters throwing boiling water into the air, the water ...
0
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
701 views

Electric heating rod

I usually heat my bathing water with electric heating rod, I always thought that the base of rod is an insulator so that it can develop high heat. But when I tried touching water while rod was dipped ...
0
votes
1answer
573 views

Burning VS Melting: What is the relation in the atomic/molecular structure?

This has never been asked before on this site, so I thought I would ask this to help future searchers, passerbys, or others understand this better. What are the key differences between burning ...
0
votes
2answers
619 views

How can a rapid change in the volume of a gas cause changes in its temperature?

We were learning about Boyle's law (pressure is inversely proportional to volume of a gas) and in the experiment to prove the law, we were told that we cannot change the volume of a gas too rapidly ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Why basements stay cold even during summer?

Why a room below the surface (such as basements) can stay cold all the time? How is it able to avoid the high increase of temperature and heat in hot days and periods?
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a heat transfer equation that takes conduction, convection, radiation and dT/dt into account?

I see equations that take 2 or 3 of the listed parameters into account but I haven't been able to find one that is that complete. I'm seeking to solve this equation using matlab for a simulation ...
0
votes
3answers
21k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

How to calculate incident solar energy on earth in a given day with a spectral filter

The daily solar radiation irradiation is often quoted as being between $3.2 \text{ kW hours}/\text{m}^2$ and $7 \text{kW hours}/\text{m}^2$ per day . If you filter out a range of wavelengths, how can ...
0
votes
1answer
400 views

How long does the 2nd pot of water take to boil right after the 1st one finishes?

Say I have a pot of water that boils in 20 minutes, at whatever temperature. If I leave the fire on, take the pot off, pour the hot water into a container, refill the pot with tap water and put it ...
0
votes
2answers
147 views

Electric power transmission

If we want to transmit electic current for a long distance, we must minimize a heat that releases because of the resistanse. We cannot make a cable wide because it is expensive and it will be massive. ...
0
votes
3answers
5k views

How do you determine the heat transfer from a P-V diagram?

I doubt this question has been addressed properly before, but if there are similar answers, do direct them to me. I am currently studying the First Law of Thermodynamics, which includes the p-V ...
0
votes
1answer
160 views

Liquid oxygen how do they use it as fuel?

Rockets are said to be using liquid oxygen as fuel. How do they use liquid oxygen since it's just oxygen, it only helps in the combustion process. How can it be a fuel on its own?
0
votes
1answer
867 views

Why is the equation for Entropy of an ideal gas that undergoes reversible change in T at constant Pressure like this?

Why is the equation for change in Entropy for a reversible change in $T$ at constant $P$ described as $$\Delta S = n C_p \ln\frac{T_f}{T_i}$$
0
votes
2answers
41 views

Residual Entropy - Third Law

I've been told that many systems possess some residual entropy at absolute zero. This would seem to disagree with the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics? How can this be explained physically speaking? I am ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Coefficient of volume expansion for gases

I often read that at 0 degree (Centigrade), gases expand by 1/273 of its volume at 0 degree for one degree rise in temp. So does this coefficient of expansion ( i.e. 1/273) change with temperature?
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Entropy of a system: microstates and macrostates

Currently we're deriving the Gibbs expression for the entropy during an introductory thermal physics course. We're dealing with a system with $N$ different equally likely microstates that are ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Confusion about the Definition of Boiling Point

From the description of boiling here: Boiling is the rapid vaporization of a liquid, which occurs when a liquid is heated to its boiling point, the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

How to model an apartment's airconditioning?

Background: This reminds situation reminds be of an episode from the The Big Bang Theory, although it is quite different from it. My roommate and I have similar temperature preferences and also share ...