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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Dissipation when the temperature is not constant

Consider a process where some chemical species diffuses from one part of a system (which I'll call $A$) to another ($B$) at a rate $r$ $\text{mol}\cdot \mathrm s^{-1}$. If the system's temperature is ...
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242 views

Centrifugal Compressor Flow Rate

For a centrifugal compressor, as found in most turbochargers on internal combustion engines, is there a noticeable change in flow rate versus a naturally aspirated flow rate? In other words, does the ...
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1answer
144 views

How can I calculate the amount of bubbles needed to lift a submerged body?

Our teacher had us come up with our own thermodynamics experiments, so I put a glass of water inside a vacuum-capsule. Inside the glass of water I have placed a non-floating object, a small plastic ...
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2k views

When do I know if energy stored in an object is 0 or nonzero? (Heat transfer)

There is uniform internal heat generation at $\dot{q}=5\times10^{7} \frac{W}{m^{3}}$ is occurring in a cylindrical nuclear reactor fuel rod of 50 mm diameter and under steady state conditions the ...
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2k views

What are typical values of the critical thickness of insulation?

As most people who've had any elementary heat transfer course are aware, when insulating a pipe, wire, etc, there is a critical thickness for the insulation below which it causes greater heat transfer ...
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443 views

Heat equation and Bessel's function [closed]

Could someone please explain why if the time-independent heat equation can, via changing of variables, take the form of Bessel's equation that the $\sqrt\lambda$ should take the values of the zeros of ...
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3answers
616 views

Finite difference formulation of the heat equation with thermal conductivity in 1D

This may seem trivial, but I'm having some trouble deriving the finite difference form of the heat equation with a thermal conductivity function $a(x)$ depending on $x$: $$\frac{\partial u(x, ...
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821 views

Why is it when you microwave cold coffee and then add milk it creates a foam head? [closed]

As compared to when the coffee is just hot from brewing. I suspect it has something to do with the way the microwaves are affecting the molecules of the coffee.
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434 views

Maxwell's Demon - laser cooling

There’s an interesting article on Scientific American that tells how to cool individual atoms to within a very tiny fraction of Absolute Zero. It uses two laser beams acting on a very cold rarified ...
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1answer
567 views

Maximum pressure at a compressor outlet and molecular weight

I am puzzled by some data I see for a compressor. From what I read, the maximum discharge pressure reachable with a reciprocal compressor would vary depending on the nature of the gas used, and its ...
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3answers
126 views

Where does the energy go when engine braking?

If you're in gear in a car and not accelerating, the car slows down faster than it would from just air resistance and tire deformation. In normal braking, the energy is turned into heat from the brake ...
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2answers
94 views

Why is the net entropy change of an irreversible engine positive?

In a Carnot engine the net entropy changein a cycle is zero. But in an irreversible engine operating between two temperatures the net entropy change in a cycle is positive. As I have understood, this ...
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102 views

Multivariable calculus and Thermodynamics

Somewhere in my thermodynamics text I read the following. $\left(\frac{dU}{dP}\right)_{V} = \left(\frac{\partial U}{\partial T}\right)_{V} \left(\frac{\partial T}{\partial P}\right)_{V}$ Is it ...
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1answer
176 views

Which air will give more effective cooling ? Dry or Moist?

Yesterday, I had an innovative idea. I live in India, and in summer season, the temperature can reach up to 45 degree Celsius. We use Split 1.5 Ton AC in our small office. The idea is to put an ...
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4answers
64k views

Heat transfer calculated from the specific heat formula

Say I have 10g of silver, whose specific heat is known to be 0.235. I've heated it up from 50.0C to 60.0C. How much heat has been transferred? The equation is: $$ Q = C_pm\Delta t $$ where Cp is ...
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2answers
2k views

Physics-based derivation of the formula for entropy

I am looking for a derivation of the formula $$S~=~-\Sigma_ip_i \log (p_i).$$ for entropy, from first principles. I only wish to assume the laws of physics, and without involving concepts in ...
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4answers
1k views

Is the atmospheric pressure the cause of a planet's surface temperature or is it the temperature the cause of a planet's atmospheric pressure?

I heard a climatologist on a talk show saying that one of the widely known arguments used by climate scientists to exemplify what a runaway greenhouse effect could cause to Earth's temperature and ...
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4answers
484 views

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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2answers
817 views

Why does this entropy change formula for heating water blow up at $T_{1}=0$?

My textbook says: Next we consider a more complicated problem: heating m grams of water, from $T_{1}$ to $T_{2}$. The entropy change is $$S_{2}-S_{1}=\int mc_{w} ...
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4answers
4k 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 ...
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3answers
496 views

How do objects heat up?

If every body emits radiation at a given frequency and temperature exactly as well as it absorbs the same radiation, how do objects heat up?
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3answers
9k views

Does closing curtains 'make your home warmer'?

I mean, in the sense that the act of closing curtains would somehow reduce the amount of heat loss of the house to the outside, thus making it warmer for a given supply of heating.
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2answers
1k views

Does the global financial system violate laws of thermodynamics and energy conservation? [closed]

For the past years I am thinking about relating concepts from physics to concepts from economics. Especially since the financial crisis made obvious the instability of the financial system I ask ...
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2answers
119 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.
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
488 views

Water, can it break through temperature?

If water is heaten up to ridicilously high temperatures, is it possible for the atoms in the molecules to lose their bonds? And if it is possible, isn't this some kind of chain-reaction? Like you ...
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2answers
546 views

Why is pressure an intensive property? [duplicate]

My teacher explained to me that we volume is an extensive property because it is additive in nature. But he also told us that pressure is an intensive property. Now according to the gas law equation ...
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2answers
116 views

Temperature of a Diamond in a Boiling Pot of Water

Suppose I have a boiling pot of water (100 degrees C) and drop a diamond in. Does the diamond eventually reach 100 degrees C? Since the diamond is a rigid structure, its molecules do not vibrate ...
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3answers
288 views

Asymmetric heat conduction?

So I have this side-view drawing. Now I wonder, will such a multi-layer material have asymmetric heat conduction properties? Namely, because of radiative conduction, reflective aluminum surface ...
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3answers
2k views

Thermal physics question, final temperature of ice and water

Here is the question from my textbook: "In an insulated vessel, 250g of ice at $0^{\circ}$C is added to 600g of water at $18^{\circ}$C. What is the final temperature of the system?" The solution ...
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3answers
690 views

Mathematical proof of non-negative change of entropy $\Delta S\geq0$

I understand that we can prove that for any process that occurs in an isolated and closed system it must hold that $$\Delta S\geq0$$ via Clausius' theorem. My question is, how can I prove this in a ...
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3answers
577 views

Problem with an electricity / thermodynamics assignment

I've been trying to figure this one out for a while on my own, so I'd like to ask for your help if you could offer some. The task states: A heater made out of a wire with a diameter $R = ...
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2answers
403 views

Restrictions on defining microstates (Entropy)

If we have an isolated system $Sb$ with thermodynamic entropy $Eb=X$ (and growing by the 2nd law of thermodynamics), we could define an abstract system $Sa$ (containing the system $Sb$) but define ...
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2answers
139 views

Is this conceptualization of blackbody radiation logical/correct?

From what I understand, a blackbody is a body which does not emit radiation as a result of atomic excitation/relaxation but rather solely due to the kinetic energy of its particles due to interactions ...
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4answers
107 views

The impatient hot tub owner [closed]

An impatient man owns a 300 gallon hot tub. He comes home from a hard day of work and sees that his hot tub is currently simmering at 90F. For maximum relaxation, he wants it at 104F. However, the hot ...
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3answers
108 views

Can you huddle next to a fridge in sub-zero temperatures and keep warm?

There's a saying I've heard in so many places.. "It was so cold that we used to huddle next to our refrigerator to keep warm..." I had heard this phrase uttered some 30 or so years ago, and it's stuck ...
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2answers
84 views

What could be the effects of accidentally spilling supercooled water/liquid on an unprotected body surface?

Will the body rapidly start losing heat or will the water find a seed and solidify around it ?
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3answers
117 views

How much work do I need to convert 300ml of water from 25°C to 3°C? [closed]

A question on how to apply thermodynamics principles to figure out how much work is needed to hold 300ml water in room temperature at 3°C. So far I have: 1Cal for each degree per g of water. We have ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the difference between classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics? [duplicate]

What is the difference between classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics? To me, they are greatly different but are different approaches for explaining same thing. But I do prefer ...
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2answers
870 views

A precise definition of macroscopic and microscopic objects

What are the formal definitions of "macroscopic object" and "microscopic object". How can one differentiate between them? I mean, is there any fixed condition by which we can distinguish between them? ...
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2answers
1k views

Why Does Air Hold More Water When the Air is Warmer?

I know that when the temperature of the air rises, the maximum amount of Water it can hold before the water condenses to water droplets increases. But why is this - has it got something to do with ...
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2answers
616 views

How does a dehumidifier work?

I have read sites like this, but I am just not getting it yet. I'm looking to understand the variables involved, which I think are: air moisture content air flow (cfm?) condenser surface area? ...
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2answers
111 views

Why not assimilate nuclear waste into “igneous” rock?

I was reading a question about why not to drop nuclear waste into volcanoes; the short answer is it would come back out and not be rendered safe. Ignoring the cost and energy requirements, why can't ...
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3answers
2k views

What happens to heat waste produced by energy generation?

What happens to heat waste produced by energy generation on earth that must be there according to the laws of thermodynamics? So, it never dissipates and remains on earth?
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1answer
118 views

Is $E=mc^2$ reserved to nuclear physics?

I was wondering, while putting a log in my fireplace, how much energy the piece of wood would give. The most famous formula poped into my head: $E=m \cdot c ^ 2$! Is this formula applicable to a ...
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2answers
203 views

Using CO2 to air condition a room

I'm trying to determine how much dry ice or liquid nitrogen I would need to cool 3300 cubic feet, about 90,000 liters of air, from about 100F (37.78C or 310K) to about 90F (26.67C or 299.81K). I'm ...
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1answer
296 views

Does the Grand Canonical Ensemble allow for exchange of particles or not?

I was doing some reading on wikipedia and found it interesting that one page says the Grand Canonical Ensemble does not allow for exchange of particles, however another page says it does. So I went on ...
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3answers
82 views

Boiling as apparent violation of the second law of thermodynamics

One of the statements of the second law is that no agency can be built whose sole effect is to convert some amount of heat entirely to work. But in case of boiling, the temperature being constant, ...
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1answer
70 views

Is water boiling an excited state?

I was wondering and arguing (pro) with a friend that the process of water boiling is an excitation. I based my opinion on the theory that excitation is an increase in the energy level of an atom. I ...
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2answers
86 views

Does shaking a kettle whilst boiling increase the temperature faster than a statically-placed jug?

Water molecules move faster at higher temperatures. Does shaking a boiling kettle whilst it is in the process of boiling water increase the rate of rising temperature ? Is it worthwhile to do so ...