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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what is the supercritical state?

is the supercritical state of matter a separate state of matter or is it a combination of a liquid and a gas? could someone give me an overview of this state and its properties. i have seen some ...
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478 views

Why is heat transfer better from within circular tubes versus ex. square tubes?

It is claimed that heat exchange, through the tube-suface, is best from within circular tubes versus either (not sure which is correct): from outside of the tube itself other shapes like for example ...
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4k views

How does temperature relate to the kinetic energy of molecules?

In ideal gas model, temperature is the measure of average kinetic energy of the gas molecules. If by some means the gas particles are accelerated to a very high speed in one direction, KE certainly ...
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3k views

How to calculate temperature of an incandescent bulb filament?

Suppose we have a light bulb, for which we know its power rating, like voltage of $12\mathrm V$, and power consumption of $10\mathrm W$. We also know it's a halogen bulb with a tungsten filament ...
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119 views

At what energy consumption would we get a 1 degree rise in the Earth's temperature?

If energy consumption continues to rise at (say) 4% per year, how long before the heat dissipation seriously impacts climate?
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138 views

Chemical reaction A+B$\leftrightarrow$C. Equilibrium VS Non Equilibrium

Could you please confirm or say why I am wrong? Let us consider the steady state of the chemical reaction $A+B \leftrightarrow^{k_+}_{k_-} C$, with $k_+$ and $k_-$ the forward and backward rates. ...
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1answer
65 views

How can heaters using the same type of fuel be more or less efficient than each other? [duplicate]

I can understand there being a cost difference if you used gas vs electricity to heat your home. But for heaters using the same energy source, how can they be more or less efficient than each other? ...
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69 views

Does $\delta W=pdV$ hold for non-ideal gases

I have that for quasistatic processes, $$ \delta W= \textbf{f}\cdot d\textbf{x} $$ so for a gas $\delta W=pdV$. Does this only hold ideal gases or will it hold for van der waal's gas?
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3k views
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128 views

Does a room aerate faster when it's cold outside?

When we open the window and it's cold outside, we feel that the cold air spreads quickly. But at the end, does the cold air propagate faster than if the outside air temperature were warm? In other ...
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4answers
10k views

Relation between temperature and pressure?

I was just working on a special question but I ignored the effect of temperature on it and now it becomes very important to me. What is the relation between Pressure and Temperature? Suppose we ...
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1answer
3k views

Can a liquid boil in a closed container?

The title says it all. When one fills a container (with water for example) and closes it so no air can escape from it, then heats the container continuously, can the liquid boil or completely ...
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485 views

Is thermodynamic equilibrium static or dynamic?

Suppose, two parts of a system $A$ & $B$. They were at varying temperatures and hadn't achieved mechanical equilibrium. After the relaxation time, $A$ & $B$ were at thermal and mechanical ...
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9k views

Change in entropy adiabatic expansion

I think that an adiabatic expansion of a gas should cause the entropy to increase. On the other hand we have for adiabatic processes that $dQ = 0$ and therefore $dS= 0$, which is why I thought that ...
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395 views

second law of thermodynamics

I'm a high school rookie learning thermodynamics right now by myself. I got really confused that the second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of the universe is always increasing. If the ...
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139 views

Second Law from Statistics

Hi all I hope you can help me with the statistical origins of the Second Law. I cannot find anything that mathematically proves that order from disorder is impossible only improbable Leading me to ...
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2k views

Explanation for negative specific heat capacities in stars?

I've just found out that a negative specific heat capacity is possible. But I have been trying to find an explanation for this with no success. Negative heat capacity would mean that when a system ...
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242 views

Does the relation between entropy and temperature depend on the ensemble?

If we change the temperature of a given system, there will be a relation between its entropy and temperature S(T). Is S(T) the same in a canonical ensemble and a grand canonical ensemble? If not, is ...
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5k views

What happens when I place an ice cube into boiling water

My friend tried this experiment at home: She put an ice cube into boiling water. The water in the container stops boiling while the ice melts to water. My question: Why does the water stop boiling ...
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1answer
240 views

MIcrocanonical and Canonical - The thermodynamic limit

Considering a two level system with energies $ 0 $ and $ \epsilon$, we write out the single particle partition function with ease to be, also N-particle partition function for non-interacting ...
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2k views

Latent heat of vaporization at non-boiling temperature

The latent heat of vaporization of water is what we normally use to calculate the heat transfer that occurs at 373 K when liquid water transits to vapor phase. But there are curves for latent heat of ...
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11k views

Are isobaric, isochoric, and isothermal processes quasistatic by definition?

Let us start from definitions, as they are given in many sources. A quasistatic process is an idealized processes that happen out so slowly that a system go through a sequence of states arbitrarily ...
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1answer
459 views

How do heated showers/faucets work? [closed]

I'm not sure if this question is for Physics SE, but I'd go ahead and ask. I was wondering how the heated showers work (the ones with the hot and cold knobs). I have always been curious and this may ...
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4answers
260 views

Convective heat transfer coeficient equation

I am attempting to model a situation, in which a sphere of some material of identifiable thermal properties is receiving heat at a constant rate. And that material is coming into equilibrium with the ...
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1answer
112 views

How can such a wave exist at the surface of the sun?

Recently, I came across the following picture from NASA's SOHO observatory: It seems evident that this is a transverse wave (mind the ring which is bright and dark). But how can this be the case ...
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69 views

Calculation of the differential of the entropy

In this review (for those who wants a precise reference see page 8 eq 21), the Author says that: \begin{equation*} S=-\sum_{i}P\left(i\right)\ln P\left(i\right) \end{equation*} and using the ...
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2answers
323 views

Does the ice melt faster when breaks free from larger sheet and drops into Antarctic Ocean waters?

My question is, when Ice is intact with the large sheet and exposed only to air, it melts at some pace. But does it melt faster or slower when the big piece breaks free from the sheet and drops into ...
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341 views

Why does hydrogen give up its electron to a platinum catalyst?

All descriptions of a Hydrogen fueled fuel cell (such as this one) Start with $H_2$ giving up its electrons to a platinum coated anode. Then the $H^+$ ions (protons really) travel through the ...
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93 views

Why does most of the heat transferred on Earth come from the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum?

Why does the most of the heat transferred on Earth come from infrared part of electromagnetic spectrum?
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116 views

What is the principle of equivalence in thermodynamics?

I've been searching for this for a while. There is a principle of equivalence in general relativity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivalence_principle But I need the principle of equivalence in ...
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4k views

Heat transfer and temperature difference of 2 liquids

We know that heat transfer is calculated by equation $Q$=$m$×$C_p$×$\Delta$$T$. Let's perform 2 experiments- Imagine I have 2 cups with water with same masses(volume). 1 is at 100 degree C and other ...
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1k views

Auto-refrigeration

I'm reading about the auto-refrigeration effect and can't find a really good explanation. Is the idea that when you have your condensed liquid, and then release it into a low pressure environment, ...
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2answers
101 views

Coupling constant is turned off adiabatically?

To me, adiabatic processes are idealisation. What do people mean with statements such as: "turning off the coupling constant (in QED say) adiabatically"?
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1answer
219 views

Questions about Statistical Mechanics

For grand partition ensemble, is it true that the introduction of chemical potential allows us to have the sum of number of the particles in each state to be the total number of particles ("On ...
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1answer
3k views

Heating metal with laser? [closed]

Can a laser be used to heat metal's to the point they glow red? How are laser cutters able to cut metal very easily? How much heat can a laser generate?
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280 views

Paramagnetism and large N

In a paramagnetic system, we have: $$N = N_\uparrow + N_\downarrow$$. If we have a large system, with $N >> 1$, is it generally okay to assume $N_\uparrow \approx \frac{N}{2}$ and ...
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120 views

Behavior of gasses, ideal and otherwise

I'm trying to help a child research a science project on refrigeration. Refreshing my incredibly rusty thermodynamics skills.... The ideal gas law: $PV=nRT$. Let's take air at STP: $P = 101\,kPa$ $V ...
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13k views

What is the Units for Thermal conductivity?

What are the units for thermal conductivity and why?
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2answers
1k views

Boundary between supercritical fluid and gaseous phase

As far as I understand, going around the critical point, it is possible to transform a liquid into a gas without seeing a phase transition. Does this also mean that there is no clear separation ...
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1answer
194 views

What cause scientists to study Black Body Radiation?

After spending hours understanding what exactly Black Body radiation and Ultraviolet catastrophe is, I cannot help myself asking what was the reason that make scientists such as Wilhelm Wien and Max ...
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94 views

why does air temperature change with density?

As hot air in the atmosphere rises it expands and cools at the same time. If the air cools though, shouldn't its density increase?
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1answer
155 views

What sort of thermodynamic process is this?

I have to calculate the work done in this thermodynamic cycle: LINK. But the bottom bit of the cycle is something I've never seen before. I guess the curve in $pV$ space is given by $$\left( V- ...
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1answer
360 views

Forms of the first law of thermodynamics

The first law of thermodynamics states that $$\frac{D}{Dt}(K+U)=W+H,$$ where K is the kinetic energy, U is the internal energy, W is the power of the external forces and H is the heat flux. I have ...
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3answers
458 views

Conceptual difficulty in understanding Fourier's Law of heat conduction

I am having a bit of difficulty understanding the statement of Fourier's law of heat conduction. As mentioned in Georg Joos , Theoretical Physics The quantity of heat passing per second through ...
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2answers
1k views

Minimization of energy and maximization of entropy

Are maximization of entropy and minimization of energy equivalent? Or are they contrary? Why should the thermodynamic potentials such as $G$, $A$, etc, be minimum at equilibrium? I am confused. ...
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1answer
604 views

What is the work done by an ideal gas?

What is the work done by an ideal gas when final pressure and volume are both different from its initial pressure and volume or when both pressure and volume changes ?
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2answers
457 views

Heating and Recooling of an Object

Consider a piece of metal of length $L$ and linear thermal expansion coefficient $\alpha$. We eat the metal $\Delta T$ degrees, causing the metal to increase to length $$ L' = L + L \alpha \Delta T$$ ...
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1answer
424 views

A simple thermodynamic question? [closed]

I tried this question a lot of time and few day's earlier I also solved it correctly but I don't know why I am not able to solve it now. I can't get what link I am missing. ques: 2 moles of helium gas ...
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2answers
225 views

Is it possible to condense heat?

Suppose that I have a warm room. Is it possible to condense the heat of the room into a small object so that the room turns cold and the small object very hot? If it's possible: How? If it's not: ...
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3answers
463 views

Unclear how heat interacts with Navier Stokes

I am playing around with an Navier stokes solver and I'm having trouble introducing heat. Am I right in thinking this would be introduced in the ${\bf f}$ term of ${\partial{\bf u}\over\partial t} = ...