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 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 ...
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1answer
7k views

Why is black the best emitter?

Why are emitters colored black better emitters than other colors? Why is white a worse emitter?
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4answers
11k views

What equation of state is needed for liquid states?

I'm familiar with the ideal gas law $$PV=nRT$$ but I don't think it applies to liquids like water. If I'm wrong, please correct me! If I'm right, then what equation of state applies to liquids such ...
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6answers
1k views

What's the best strategy to fully fill the fridge with beer bottles and have them all cooled?

I'm having a party. Suppose I'd like to have a fridge full of cold ($6~^\circ\text{C}$ or below) beer bottles, in as short a time frame as possible. The fridge indicates that it is targeting (and ...
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8k views

How does cold air move through a room

If you turn on a fan in a warm room, it feels as if cold air is being pushed from the fan out in the direction that it's facing, but what's actually happening on a molecular level? When an object is ...
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2k views

Gibbs Paradox - why should the change in entropy be zero?

The Gibbs paradox deals with the fact that for an ideal gas with $N$ molecules in a volume $V$ seperated by a diaphragm into two subvolumes $V_1,V_2$ with $N_1,N_2$ particles in each subvolume, ...
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1answer
447 views

Is a black hole's surface area invariant for distant intertial observers?

Let's imagine I'm very far from any massive objects, so my local space-time is Minkowskian. Off in the distance is a black hole, far enough away that it doesn't noticeably curve space-time near me, ...
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342 views

Problem about entropy

Combining the first and second law of thermodynamics we can get the following equation $$TdS=dU-P_{ext}dV$$ First question: Is this equation applicable for irreversible processes such that that ...
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4k views

Why does an electric motor burn up when you physically stop it?

As an electric motor spins, the energy from the electricity is 'conducted' to the rotor by the magnetic fields. However, when the motor is stopped, the energy becomes heat and burns up to motor. ...
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5answers
4k views

Does decrease in temperature affect mass $E=mc^2$?

My understanding of Quantum physics and String Theory is very basic and I don't yet have a grasp on the maths, but in my research I have come up with a question. Does a decrease in temperature also ...
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4answers
2k views

Why the breath sometimes warm and sometimes cold? (2 different explanations!)

If you blow air against your hand with your mouth open, you feel warm breath. If you do with with your lips closed except for a small opening, you feel cold breath. One explanation from here says ...
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1answer
761 views

Why do we ignore rotational energy in monatomic gases? [duplicate]

I understand that the average energy of each degree of freedom in a thermodynamic system is $\frac12kT$. And so, for an ideal monatomic gas, there are three degrees of freedom associated with the ...
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1answer
2k views

Equation of state of a rubber band

I have the following question that I attached in png format. I have done part (a), but I am having difficulties in part (b) when I proceed according to the book. I have non zero tension at ...
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4answers
3k views

Was the Universe's entropy equal to zero at the Big Bang? Is zero-entropy state unique?

It is postulated by many cosmologists that at the Big Bang time the universe was in an unusual low entropy state. Does this claim specifically mean that the entropy of the initial universe was zero? ...
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2answers
1k views

Energy of unmixing

Mixing of two different fluids is associated with an increase of entropy. Conversely, separation of two gases must be associated with a decrease of the entropy of the two fluids. Is there a minimum ...
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1answer
112 views

What is the physical implication of Clausius inequality?

Clausius inequality is given as: $$\oint \frac{\delta Q_\text{res}}{T_\text{res}} \le 0\;.$$ From Carnot cycle, we get the equality relation as the entropy lost by the hot reservoir is the same as ...
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1answer
175 views

Why do windows fog quickly?

I'm from Bogotá, Colombia. In my city the temperature is all the year between 12ºC and 25ºC (bus mostly under 19ºC) and when I drive and it's raining, there is accumulation of fog on the windows, but ...
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2answers
3k views

Is there an equation to calculate the average speed of liquid molecules?

I seem to remember from first year physics that we can calculate the RMS speed of a stationary, ideal gas with $v=\sqrt{\frac{3RT}{M}}$. Does a similar equation exist for liquids?
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1answer
4k views

Definition of “intensive” and “extensive” properties

Today I was asked what does it mean for a physical property of a system to be intensive. My first answer, loosely speaking, was: "It is a property that is local." I was specifically thinking ...
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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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2answers
197 views

How can Maxwell's Demon erase information while a black hole can not?

It is stated, that information can't disappear even in black holes. On the other hand, it is stated, that mystic beings, like Maxwell demons, can easily erase any information if they just pay with ...
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1answer
147 views

Isothermal compressibility

How does one get from the thermodynamics definition : $$ \chi_T = -\frac{1}{V} \left(\frac{\partial V}{\partial p}\right)_T$$ to the fluid dynamics definition : $$ \chi_T = \frac{1}{\rho} ...
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9k 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

Best way to chill a cup of coffee with cold water and 5 minutes [duplicate]

Initial data 1 x 3/4 full cup of hot coffee / tea / your favorite morning beverage cold water 5 minutes Considering that it's starting to get hot outside, and we all want to drink reasonably cold ...
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5answers
1k views

Is speed an intensive property?

I remember being taught in elementary physics that while it makes sense to add volumes, masses, or heat, it makes no sense to add temperatures. As I wanted to use that to illustate some other issue, ...
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3answers
829 views

Why must the particles of an ideal gas be point-like?

Why is a gas of elastically colliding hard balls of finite size not ideal? Respectively: Why is it essential that the particles of an ideal gas are point-like? Especially: Which ...
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3answers
6k views

Why does deodorant always feel cold?

We all use deodorant and they always feel cold, why is that? Is it because it is liquid inside the bottle and a gas when it is released?
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1answer
268 views

Thermodynamics: heat transfer

I hope this question isn't too simplistic but I've been in a discussion with someone who claims that no energy is transferred between a cool object and a warm one (either by radiation or conduction) ...
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1answer
495 views

Maxwell demon : how can the demon move the door without doing any work ?

Here is something that I never understood about Maxwell's demon paradox : in order to contradict the second law of thermodynamics, the demon must open and close the door without doing any work... But ...
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1answer
179 views

Dropping condition

Imagine opening a water tap in order to have a smooth and cylindrical outflow and then slowly decrease the flow by adjusting the knob. At a certain moment, the side profile of the flow will become ...
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3answers
418 views

Why does the air pressure at the surface of the earth exactly equal the weight of the entire air column above it

Why does the air pressure at the surface of the earth (resulting from collisions of molecules on the surface of the earth which has to do with the velocity of the particles) exactly equal the weight ...
4
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1answer
469 views

How to solve the heat equation for compound materials with different heat conductivities numerically?

I'm solving the heat equation with time dependent boundary conditions numerically in a 2D system using the ADI scheme. For the purpose of this question, let's assume a constant heat conductivity and ...
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1answer
233 views

What happens at the interface between two universes with opposite thermodynamic arrows of time? [closed]

I was trying to think but cannot figure it out. For instance, if the interaction is small, for instance limited to a windows, the observers in each universe will see that the other goes in reverse. ...
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1answer
73 views

Maximum Temperature?

I have been reading a lot about wavelengths of light and Planck's law and such. Curious as to whether a minimum wavelength of $h$ (Planck's Constant) indicates that there is in some way an absolute ...
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1answer
223 views

Thermal emission cathode electron velocity distribution

I can't find any experimental data (or theoretical expression) on what is the velocity (or energy) distribution of thermal emission cathode electrons emmited from the cathode at approximately 2000 K ...
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2answers
4k views

Why does blowing on hot coffee cool it down?

And will it cool off faster if you blow across the top of the cup or directly into the coffee? Does it have to do with the fact that when you blow across the top of the cup the velocity of the air ...
3
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1answer
318 views

Entropy is constant. How to express this equation in terms of pressure and density?

In hydrodynamics of an ideal, non-compressive flow we use 5 variables: pressure $p$, density $\rho$ and velocity field $\mathbf{v}$. So we need 5 equations. Landau's "Hydrodynamics" states that the ...
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3answers
827 views

Is there an upper limit to temperature in thermodynamics or statistical mechanics

In many presentations of statistical mechanics where we have a system of particles having mass, such as the molecules of an ideal gas, the temperature is often equated to the average relative velocity ...
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2answers
653 views

How to reconcile the two definitions of work? (mechanical and thermodynamical)

When studying classical mechanics, work is defined as: $W_M=\int F_{tot} \hspace{2 mm} dx$. However, for thermodynamics, work is defined as: $W_T=\int -F_{ext} \hspace{2 mm} dx$. I'm having trouble ...
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3answers
237 views

Colder surface radiates to warmer surface

When radiation from a colder source arrives at a warmer surface there is some debate about what happens next. To make the question more concrete lets say that the colder source is at temperature 288K. ...
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1answer
275 views

How is pressure an intensive coordinate?

Most textbooks explain intensive coordinates by asking us to consider a system and divide it into two parts. The properties which remain the same will be called intensive and the properties that ...
2
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2answers
681 views

Why does a substance expands upon freezing? What conditions necessitate this?

Why does a substance expands upon freezing? What conditions necessitate this? For example, how does the slope of sublimation or fusion curve in a P-T diagram affect this?
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3answers
375 views

How to combat the black-body temperature of an object?

I'm trying to model the temperature of a large spacecraft for a space colony simulation game I'm working on. In another question, I checked my calculations for the steady-state black-body temperature ...
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2answers
58 views

Gas Circulation Using Pressure Difference

Dear all, see attached picture Please, is it possible to have the gas recirculated from the gas phase to the liquid as described in the diagram assuming the gas is not soluble in the water. These ...
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1answer
2k views

When a color LCD/LED display is off it is black, when on it is colored. What color to light is an LCD/LED display

When a modern display using pixels is turned on its colors are different than the black that the screen is actually made up of. When put in light, such as sunlight, does the screen react to the color ...
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2answers
74 views

Derivation for the temperature of Reissner-Nordström (charged) black hole

A lot of the text for this is from "How does one correctly interpret the behavior of the heat capacity of a charged black hole?" but this concerns a different question. The Reissner-Nordström black ...
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3answers
277 views

Speed of heat / quantification of heat and other magnitudes

Is the speed of heat infinite? When solving the heat equation in a semi-infinite bar, we can see that a pulse in the finite end draws an immediate change in every point of the bar. So, at any given ...
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2answers
80 views

Is there a portable method of preventing all IR radiation from being emitted?

Me and some friends were recently disuccing "How cool it would be to be invisible", from a military viewpoint, I said that Camouflage, when done correctly, works surprisingly well, so invisibility was ...
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1answer
432 views

Density as a derivative of the Helmholtz energy

The equation of state for nitrogen has been formulated using the Helmholtz energy as the fundamental property with independent variables of density and temperature. The equation of state in ...
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1answer
188 views

What's the relationship between the energy density of a black-body and its radiant exitance?

Through a bit calculation we can derive that in a cavity, the energy density $$u(f,T)=\overline{E(f)}\times G(f)=\frac{8\pi h}{c^3}\frac{f^3}{e^{h\nu /kT}-1}$$ If we take the integral over all ...