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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Is a world with constant/decreasing entropy theoretically impossible?

I'm not 110% sure exactly what I mean by this question. It was sparked by a friend who said he wished the law of entropy were reversed, so he wouldn't have to worry about cleaning the bathroom. ...
0
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1answer
288 views

When to use Heat Diffusivity eqn and when to use Fourier's law to find temperature distribution?

Let's say that there is a circular conical section that has diameter $D=.25x$ without any heat generation and I need to find the temperature distribution. Originially I thought I could use the heat ...
2
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1answer
342 views

Joining the definitions of entropy

$\int \frac{Q_{rev}}{T} = \Delta(k_B\ln\Omega)=\Delta S$ Could anyone give some definite proof for this? I was able to prove that the two definitions of change in entropy are equivalent for an ...
0
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1answer
680 views

Deriving an Expression for Entropy

How to derive an expression for entropy in form of $S = \ln \Omega$ from the form $\displaystyle{S = - \sum_i \; p_i \ln p_i}$ ? That is the last formula taken as a definition of entropy. Just a ...
0
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1answer
247 views

Expansion of Helmholtz energy

To get an expansion of Helmholtz energy of a) an ideal gas b) a Van der waals gas we must integrate $\left ( \frac{\delta A }{\delta V} \right )_{T}=-P$ I saw the solution is : Can you ...
2
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2answers
143 views

Does it make sense to have a theory of thermodynamics about coldness?

When someone comes in from the cold to a heated room, it sometimes feels like there is coldness radiating away from that person. Is there a sense in which we can say that coldness radiates similarly ...
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6answers
7k views

Why does maximal entropy imply equilibrium?

From a purely thermodynamical point of view, why does that entropy have to be a maximum at equilibrium? Say there is equilibrium, i.e. no net heat flow, why can the entropy not be sitting at a ...
6
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2answers
320 views

How much energy from extreme coldness?

Let's say I have: 1: one mole of extremely cold ideal gas 2: unlimited amount of ideal gas at temperature 300 K 3: one ideal heat engine Can I generate for example 1 MWh of mechanical energy using ...
5
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1answer
234 views

Energy formula for separating $O_2$ from mixture of $O_2$, $NH_3$ and $H_2O$

I have a physics problem I'd like to make sure I get correct. The practical aspect of this problem is that the photosynthetic efficiency of algae is inhibited with dissolved O2 in the growth medium, ...
2
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1answer
807 views

How does heat transfer between two atoms in solid material?

Been looking at heat equation and it's derivation, according to Wikipedia it uses 2 mathematical assumptions. My problem is that although it all seems OK, what is the physics of heat transfer in ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Heat Flux and Spatial Temperature Gradients

The derivation for Heat Equation I am reading starts by stating Net change of heat inside $[x,x+\Delta x]$ = Net flux of heat across boundaries + Total heat generated inside $[x,x+\Delta x]$ and ...
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6answers
1k views

Does the scientific community consider the Loschmidt paradox resolved? If so what is the resolution?

Does the scientific community consider the Loschmidt paradox resolved? If so what is the resolution? I have never seen dissipation explained, although what I have seen a lot is descriptions of ...
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3answers
2k views

When a gas expands against an external pressure of 0, must the stopper on the cylinder be massless?

Basically, I need to conceptually understand why the work a gas does is the integral $\int p_\mathrm{external}dv$ and is 0 when pressure external is 0. I understand why $\mathrm{d}w = - ...
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0answers
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
218 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 ...
4
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2answers
240 views

Generalisation of Reversible Equation to Non-Reversible Situations Because it Only Contains 'Properties of the System'

I've just been reading through Van Ness' Understanding Thermodynamics, and I'm having a little trouble following his argument at one point. He is deriving the useful differential equation: $$dU=T \ ...
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1answer
644 views

Temperature change effected by electric heater [closed]

A 40-gallon electric water heater has a 10kW heating element. What will the water temperature be after 15 min of heating if the start temp is 50F degrees. There must be an equation. I can't find it ...
2
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1answer
435 views

Steady State Temperature of an Object Orbiting the Earth

This may be irrelevant or stupid to ask but I couldn't come up with a good answer. At least, we could not agree on with my friend the other day. I would like an estimate of the temperature of a human ...
8
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3answers
511 views

What made the keys in my pocket so hot?

Not sure where to ask this question - thought you guys would probably have the best idea! Today a single key on my keychain in my pocket heated up so that it was too hot to handle and scalded my leg. ...
1
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1answer
464 views

Given two boiling temperatures and pressures, how can I find the latent heat?

I am given the fact that at a certain pressure a liquid boils at a corresponding temperature, at a different pressure it boils at a different temperature, and then I am asked to find the latent heat ...
2
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3answers
226 views

How to “read” the temperature of an abstract system?

How can I interpret the parameter temperature $T$, if I'm not given the description of the system in terms of the equation of state, $E(S,V\ )$ or $S(E,V\ )$ and so on. In many systems it makes sense ...
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2answers
182 views

How much energy does lowering an object into a black hole generate?

An object of mass m is slowly lowered into a black hole of mass 1000 m. Is the amount of braking energy larger than $0.6 mc^2$? Now what if, after lowering the mass close to the event horizon, we ...
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3answers
699 views

Opposite of Cryogenics

Cryogenics is related to very low temperatures, so, what is the term when referring to very high temperatures?
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3answers
228 views

If humans were able to catch all sun energy reaching the earth for their use, will the climate change?

I guess that energy will be used up and, at the end, will contribute to heat the earth, so I see no big differences... please explain your point of view.
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3answers
1k views

Can heat be extracted and concentrated? [closed]

If one could devise an answer to this question, electricity would be free for everyones disposal. (seems like a good dream but in reality free energy will be this worlds downfall)
2
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1answer
189 views

Do all closed systems, only considering kinematic/mechanical principles, exhibit time reversal symmetry?

It makes a lot of sense to me to imagine a cannonball flying through space as not so much experiencing a macroscopic non-conservative drag force, but as pushing a bunch of air molecules and giving ...
2
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3answers
95 views

Certain material heating water in a recipient

I don't know how to resolve a problem, but I don't want the answer since I'm almost going to have it resolved. What the problem says is we have 85 liters of water at 7ºC in an iron pot of 29kg. We ...
8
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2answers
919 views

How much more energy does it take for a human body to heat 0C ice vs 0C water?

I'm trying to determine if going through the trouble of ingesting ice is worth the hassle versus ingesting ice-cold water, but my physics skills are rusty. If I drink a gram of ice water at ~0C, my ...
6
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3answers
577 views

2$^\text{nd}$ law of thermodynamics: equivalence of statements

Consider the following statements: Clausius statement (according to Wikipedia): No process is possible whose sole result is the transfer of heat from a body of lower temperature to a body of ...
0
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1answer
219 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
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1answer
229 views

Heat transfer speed - affected by difference in relative heat?

If I put something at room temperature in an environment that is at roughly half room temperature, does it get colder less quickly than if it were placed into an environment with 1/4 room temperature, ...
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4answers
302 views

How to guess the content of a christmas present?

Let us assume that the present does not make any recognizable sounds when shaken (meow splat - the present now contains a dead kitten). Let us furthermore assume ...
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5answers
30k views

Which direction does air flow?

I remember learning this in high school, but have forgotten it, and can't seem to find it anywhere online. Air travels from areas of high pressure to low pressure...correct? So if I have a cold room ...
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5answers
4k views

Why was the universe in a extraordinarily low-entropy state right after the big bang?

Let me start by saying that I have no scientific background whatsoever. I am very interested in science though and I'm currently enjoying Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos. I'm at chapter 7 and ...
5
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3answers
3k views

Differentiating the ideal gas law

In reading Fermi's Thermodynamics, to show that $C_p = C_v + R$, the author differentiates the ideal gas law for a mole of gas ($PV = RT$) to obtain: $PdV + VdP = RdT$. Now, the only way I am able to ...
4
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3answers
1k views

How to understand temperatures of different degrees of freedom?

So I'm reading this book, where after the preface and before the models there is a section called General Notions and Essential Quantities, which introduce some things I don't understand. They regard ...
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1answer
570 views

Watercooling performance and amount of water or liquid in the loop

Imagine a watercooling system. It consist of a reservoir, pump, tubes and a radiator. We all know how it works. My question is, only inreasing the reservoir's volum, say from 1 liter to 2, will ...
6
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3answers
4k views

Could a sleeping bag be warmer if you are naked inside?

I have heard conflicting theories about the best way to keep warm in a sleeping bag in the winter. Some people say you should bundle up in your sleeping bag and another theory says that you should be ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Does opening the oven door heat the house more than if the door is closed?

In the winter I am in the habit of opening my oven door once I am done baking so that I can add the heat to the house. However I recently thought about it and it would seem that even if the door is ...
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1answer
443 views

Heat transfer, Cold vs. Hot

If you boil water inside a pot the outer rim bubbles first, I imagine because its hotter. Does that same concept apply for the inside of a refrigerator for example. Is the outer rim always more ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Difference between Clausius-Clapeyron and Van't Hoff equation

I was wondering what is the difference between the Clausius-Clapeyron equation and the Van't Hoff equation. They appear to have the exact same physical meaning and are often used interchangeably.
5
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2answers
509 views

Does heat from gravitational pressure dissipate eventually?

It's my understanding that Earth's core is hot and molten because of the high pressure from gravity compressing the planet's mass towards the center. How does this heat reconcile with thermodynamics, ...
9
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4answers
287 views

Is “equilibrium state” equivalent to “well-defined state variables”?

Follow up to Intuitively, why is a reversible process one in which the system is always at equilibrium? and How slow is a reversible adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas? Suppose you have a ...
2
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2answers
10k views

Why does a gas get hot when suddenly compressed? What is happening at the molecular level?

My guess is that the molecules of gas all have the same speed as before, but now there are much more collisions per unit area onto the thermometer, thus making the thermometer read a higher ...
0
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0answers
2k views

How to determine size of a Heat Exchanger? [on hold]

I am designing a Tube heat-exchanger, similar to this: My process requires water (at room temperature, 18C ~ 22C) that is being pumped out of a small tank (300 Liters) to be heated in a ...
4
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3answers
800 views

Second law of thermodynamics and a bunch of magnets

Say I put a bunch of powerful square magnets on a nearly frictionless table in a disordered fashion. The second law of thermodynamics states that the system shall spontaneously get more disordered, ...
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2answers
172 views

How does cooling scale with volume?

What equation would give me the answer to the question, "If i have a cup of water at a tempature of say boiling, how long would that cup of water take to cool off compared to say half that size of a ...
6
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3answers
8k views

Why is air a poor conductor of heat?

Today, I was reading an article How Thermoses Work It goes on to explain all three processes of heat transfer: Conduction Radiation Convection In Convection, It states, If it weren't for ...
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1answer
1k views

Understanding the Seebeck effect

Thermoelectricity is, as I understand it, the difference in voltage between the hot and cold ends of two dissimilar materials. If two materials are connected at two different junctions, the hot ...
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2answers
2k views

how much heat i need to reach constant temperature

Is there an equation I can use to calculate the heat required (as a function of time) to sustain water at some specif temperature? I already know how much heat I need to reach the desired temparature ...