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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Necessity of infinitesimal steps for reversible processes

Is there a mathematical proof for why a reversible process is one that has many infinitesimal equilibrium steps, rather than fewer large steps? Maybe something along the lines of this?: ...
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172 views

Confusing Chemical potential of mixtures

I feel that there are very few textbook that treat the chemical potential of mixtures in an understandable clear way, which is why I wanted to ask here about certain things? Although I do not have a ...
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23 views

Can a gas be modelled as a low density blackbody, if we want to consider how detectable it will be in space?

The answer to this question taught me about the sort of parameters I need to consider if I want to consider how "detectable" an object in space is. I want to consider the detectability of a ...
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1answer
63 views

How much energy is required to compress one engine cylinder full of air?

I was recently wondering how much energy would be required to start a car engine by manually cranking it. I was talking to someone who said the largest load you would have to deal with in the ideal ...
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1answer
74 views

Need help visualizing a conceptual problem; solid mechanics 1

When the instructor posed this problem to the class, no one could answer the question because we all had difficulty 'seeing' what was happening. I get that because they're different materials, the ...
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47 views

How can energy be partitioned equally when energy is relative?

According to the Equipartition theorem in a system at equilibrium the energy should be on average be divided equally between the available degrees of freedom. The most common examples are the three ...
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49 views

How did steady-state universe deal with entropy?

Until the 1960's the general consensus was that the universe is infinite years old (steady-state). The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy always increases, so we'd expect that within a ...
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34 views

Brownian Ratchet Plausibility

Alright I'm going to throw whatever reputation I have on the line here. And yes this is a serious question. Apologies for the shoddy imagery. I had a couple ideas to get the Brownian Ratchet to ...
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48 views

Reversible and Quasi static processes

Do we have any proof that reversible processes are always quasi static or is it just a fact that hasn't been violated till date? If there is a proof then please provide a link.
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Heat loss from hot cast iron oven

I am considering an unconventional pizza oven made from cast iron. What is a good formula for estimating non-radiative heat loss from a 450C/850F surface in a 20C outdoor environment? I am looking ...
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2answers
144 views

How to use the first law of thermodynamics for simple mechanical systems?

I'm confused about what exactly is $Q$ and $U$ and their signs. Consider a block initially having some kinetic energy which we stop and we want to find by how much amount its temperature increases. ...
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1answer
25 views

pV work in reversible processes. Why is $p_{ext}=p_{internal}$ in a contraction?

My textbook uses newtons third law to say to prove this. I think that's completely wrong. What I think happens is that we are doing an approximation that $p=p+dP$. In case you haven't figured it out, ...
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26 views

Question about fluid expansion

Hy, When a hot and dense fluid suddenly expands, how much can it cool down. Lets take for example an expansion valve from an AC, does the fluid do work when passing through the valve or does it not ...
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32 views

What is the minimum temperature of a metal surface to ignite a cigarette touching it perpendicularly?

Suppose you have a cigarette tip touching a metal surface at a 90 degree angle, exposed to air at 25C / 1atm, no wind, normal oxygen concentration. Cigarette is a regular brand, tobacco with paper ...
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100 views

Diffusion in a chemical potential gradient

I am having troubles to understand to connection between equilibrium and non equilibrium thermodynamics. I am studying a mixture of molecules $A,B,C$ and solvent $S$. The free energy $F$ is given by ...
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85 views

Negative temperature thermodynamics

I asked this question about thermodynamics. I considered $$T=\frac{\partial U}{\partial S}$$ at constant $V$ and $N$ (number of particles), but now I can't figure out the change of $U$ with respect ...
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43 views

I need to remove water from a system [closed]

I work in an industry and I need to remove water from a system. The scenario: There is a washer and a blower on a conveyor belt. The item being washed is plastic (not sure what type) and can't be ...
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2answers
64 views

Can kinetic energy in atoms result in emission of all types of EM radiation?

I already know the fact that when solid objects heat up, they emit thermal energy which is also known as infrared radiation. However, if the atoms in that solid were to begin gaining more or less ...
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38 views

Closed system, gas change in time

I'm trying to find out how to determine how a pressure of gas changes in time, but I can't find a way. I have a system with constant volume $V$ (closed system, exchanges heat with environment through ...
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21 views

Is the ratio of heat transfers always given by the same function?

In deriving the thermodynamic temperature scale, it uses the concept that heat transfer between two reservoirs is the function of the reservoirs' temperatures. i.e. $\frac{Q_1}{Q_2}=Φ(T_1,T_2)$. And ...
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204 views

What is the fastest way to heat my car?

During the winter months I often have to drive in a cold car and I want to warm up as fast as possible. What is the best setting to put the air on in order to warm up the entire cabin in the least ...
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42 views

Calculation of Water Temperature

In a close looped process the soft water (approx. $200\frac{m^3}{h}$ at $14$ barg) gets heated gradually from the ambient temperature to $\Delta$T of 20°C in $13-14$ minutes, i.e. if amb. temp is 45°C ...
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2answers
91 views

Heating of two identical balls [closed]

You are given two identical steel balls of radius (say) 5 cm. One ball is resting on a table, the other ball is hanging from a string. Both balls are heated (with a blow torch) until their radii have ...
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158 views

How can I bring water to 90 degrees C? [closed]

For my coffee I need the water to be 90 degrees Celsuis. Boiling water, however, is 100 degrees. How can I make it 90 degrees? Do I just measure the temperature of the water from my tap, and if it's ...
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65 views

Simple thermodynamic proof that light from a source cannot be focused to heat an object above the source's temperature

I was thinking about the question in the title. I found the following thread, and some of the answers are making my head spin! Is it possible to focus the radiation from a black body to make ...
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33 views

LOCAL Temperature Gradient and Stress

I'm investigating the thermo-migration failure mechanism in nanoscale ICs interconnects. Typically, a nano wire under thermal stress suffers from material/mass migration or void nucleation if it ...
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18 views

Heat Transfer in Cylindrical Coordinates

Lets say one has an infinitely long cylinder with some boundary heat terms on $r=r_0$ of the form $T(r=r_0, \phi,z)=T_0(\phi,z)$. What is the general solution for this type of equation? The general ...
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39 views

efficiency of a stirling engine with spring

I have used the concept of stirling engine with a spring instead of any gas to make an engine....i want to calculate the efficiency of it...here's a pic:
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126 views

Why is Cv greater than Cp during anomolous expansion of water?

Well, in general $c_p> c_v$ for most cases but for water having anomolous expansion from $0^{\circ}\mathrm{C}$ to $4^{\circ}\mathrm{C}$ the order is just opposite, $c_v >c_p$, why?
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16 views

In supersonic flow, why must area increase in order to have velocity increase?

Based on the area velocity relation: $\frac{dA}{A}=(M^2-1)\frac{du}{u}$ For M > 1, in order to increase u, we must increase A. I'm wondering what the explanation is physically and why it is opposite ...
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34 views

Why is not pressure as effective as temperature in changing the internal energy of solids?

The internal energy is mainly dependent on temperature in all gas, liquid and solid just because an increase in temperature makes the velocity of system's atoms greater. By the time we compress a ...
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160 views

Calculate Helmholtz Free Energy with Entropy, Work given [closed]

it's my first time here and I hope the post complies with the general rules. My problem originates here: I'm doing a statistical physics task which unfortunately leaves me clueless atm. I keep my ...
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126 views

Why doesn't the 1 dimensional ising model have a transition temperature?

Consider a 1 dimensional chain of spins that are able to either have the value $\sigma =$ $+1$, $-1$, from now on referred to as up and down. For the Hamiltonian $H = J \sum_{i,j} \sigma_i \sigma_j$ ...
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129 views

Heat Transfer and Thermal Energy

Some hot water radiators have a single pipe connected to them. The steam comes to the radiator and the water leaves in the same pipe. The steam and the water are both at a temperature of 100°C. Where ...
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36 views

Does degeneracy affect the adiabatic relation?

The adiabatic relation is $P=K\rho^\gamma$. For ideal monotomic gas $\gamma$ is 5/3. For nonrelativistic degenerate electron(inside white dwarf), $\gamma$ is also 5/3. Is this just an coincidence? ...
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75 views

Interpretation of partition function and thermodynamic potential

So in the microcanonical ensemble the partition function $\Omega$ counts the number of microstates for a given $(NVE)$ configuaration and $S = k_B \ln (\Omega)$ is the entropy. The most likely state ...
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549 views

Calculating rate of vaporization of water

Let there be a cylindrical vessel with diameter D that only has liquid water and water vapor as the picture below shows (The water vapor is the grey portion and the liquid water is the blue portion). ...
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1answer
50 views

Best airflow stategy for cooling a confined area?

I am working on a machine which has an upper side which processes a product. On the lower side of the machine there are a couple of motors with built in inverters and there is a laser unit. There are ...
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1answer
286 views

Why does the Nusselt Number for a Constant Surface Temperature, Thermally Fully Developed Circular Pipe Converge To a Constant of 3.66?

I have flow in a pipe with a constant surface temperature boundary condition. The velocity profile is fully developed and the temperature profile is also fully developed. In my textbook, it says that ...
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1answer
137 views

Heat Equation with In-Depth Radiation Exact Solution [closed]

I am looking to solve the heat conduction equation in a semi-infinite solid with in-depth radiation on the domain $-\infty < x < 0$. The governing equation of this problem is: $$\rho c ...
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39 views

hydrodynamic entrance length [developing flow]. Non-native speaker needs some help [closed]

I am currently writing my thesis in English as an non-native speaker. From time to time, I struggle quite a bit with the correct expression of the sentences. Could you have a look on the highlighted ...
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39 views

Entropy of this system

We have a system with two energy states $E_0$< $E_1=0$. We also know that state $E_0$ can only take at most $m$ particles. Curently, there are $n<m$ particles in $E_0$. Now, I am supposed to ...
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38 views

A model for surface adsorption

I have been trying to model the adsorption of an inert gas on the surface of a clean solid. So far my underlying goal is to express the Gibbs energy as a function of the number $N$ of adsorbed ...
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1answer
38 views

Schwabl states that a change in external parameters cannot increase entropy. If so, how can an adiabatic process be irreversible?

I am working my way through trying to understand statistical physics, and this particular, apparent inconsistency has had me stuck for days. Any help or advice would be hugely appreciated. I was ...
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61 views

Does entropy increases due to gravity? [closed]

Imagine travelling to the surface of a neutron star where the very intense gravity would make you weigh 140 trillion times more than we do on earth. It's enough to significantly raise the entropy of ...
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1answer
169 views

Conservation of energy when focusing black body radiation on another black body

This question about whether or not it is possible to focus black-body radiation to make something hotter than the radiation's source was answered mostly negative: the second law of thermodynamics ...
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95 views

Thermodynamics: Caclulate final temperature with hot metal in gas [closed]

I've been working on this problem for a couple of hours now, and I think that I simply don't understand the basic principles that tie into the problem: (note that I attempted this problem and it was ...
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41 views

Is every imaginable quasi-static locus (with non-decreasing entropy) physically realisable?

If I have an isolated composite system which is dependent on several extensive properties (say $U_i, V_i$ and $N_i$ for each subsystem $i$) then a quasi-static locus is just a continuous curve through ...
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67 views

What is the best way to heat air? [closed]

I want to know which way we could create hot air most efficient, how can we convert all energy input into air temperature and decrease air density as much as possible? Is the plasma (such as fire) is ...
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280 views

Isentropic and Isothermal Compressibility

Why isentropic compressibility is greater than isothermal compressibility ? While deriving $C_p$ and $C_v$ relation, I got $\frac{Cp}{Cv}$ as $\frac{ke}{Kt}$. Which tells us that $Ke > Kt$. But ...