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 thermodynamic reversibility a function of path?

Question: given a path taken by a system through state space, is it possible to make a statement such as 'that path corresponds to an irreversible process' or 'that path corresponds to a reversible ...
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2answers
1k views

How to describe heat transfer between two solid materials?

A general equation for dealing with heat transfer between one material and a region of insulating material. I've seen basic heat transfer equations for one material, but I'd love to see an explanation ...
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4answers
314 views

Why can $\beta$ not be linearly proportional to $T$, that is $\beta = constant \times T$?

$\beta$ in statistical mechanics is equal to $\frac{1}{k_BT}$ in in thermodynamics, but I do not understand why $\beta\propto T^{-1}$ instead of, say, $\beta\propto T$?
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573 views

What kind of cooling mechanism could be used in outer space?

This question arises out of this question on Quora - Apollo 11: 1969 Moon Landing: Did Neil Armstrong really land on the moon? I'm convinced with most of the explanations provided in the first ...
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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 ...
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292 views

Is it possible for the entropy in an isolated system to decrease?

As far as I can tell, the concept of entropy is a purely statistical one. In my engineering thermodynamics course we were told that the second law of Thermodynamics states that "the entropy of an ...
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1answer
185 views

Should entropy have units and temperature in terms of energy? [duplicate]

I've been thinking about entropy for a while and why it is a confusing concept and many references are filled with varying descriptions of something that is a statistical probability (arrows of time, ...
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2answers
497 views

Performance of a thermos bottle relative to contents

I'm not a physicist but I majored it at high school (a long time ago) and I study university math. Me and my roommate discussed whether the performance of a Thermos bottle is influenced by how full ...
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225 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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361 views

Have negative pressures any physical meaning?

Some cubic thermodynamical equations of state predict negative pressures, have negative pressures any physical meaning? Could they be related to negative mass?
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2k views

How can my water cool down more quickly?

I have a cup and I can only pour hot water inside, I wanna know whether the heat will dissipate more quickly with more water or less water? How about the occasion when my cup is well covered?
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360 views

Order of phase transitions

I got to read things like In case of a first order phase transition, the volume and temperature change in a discontinuous manner. However for phase transitions of higher order the change in ...
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622 views

Time it takes for Temperature Change

I have just been thinking about it for a while and would like to see if there is a way to do this problem. The Setup: We have an insulated cup with mass $m_c$ and specific heat $s_c$. The cup is at ...
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1answer
2k views

Why is the lid of the cookware kept on induction cooker not hot?

Induction cookware cooks food by inducing an electro magnetic field in the ferro-magnetic cookware. Since iron offers a lot of resistance to the current, the current is converted into heat in the ...
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1k views

Second law of Thermodynamics: Why is it only “almost” always true that entropy is non-decreasing? [duplicate]

The venerable Wikipedia states the second law of Thermodynamics as such: ...
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3answers
589 views

What is the most efficient way to use hand dryer?

What's the most efficient way to place your hands under the hand dryer? Let's assume that dryer creates simple downward flow of hot air. Here are some examples:
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3k views

Heat in the car during sunny day

Why is it hotter inside an isolated car (air conditioning is off) than outside during a sunny day in summer?
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2answers
300 views

How might a resonant antenna and black body radiation interact?

How does an antenna behave when it is cooled so that its black-body radiation is emitting energy at its resonant frequency? Edit: To clarify, its not how they're related in general, but how might ...
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4answers
623 views

2nd Law of Thermodynamics

I understand that the 2nd law of thermodynamics roughly states that, if you have a body (or a gas in a chamber) that is hot at one end and cold on the other, the heat will always flow from the hot to ...
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5answers
263 views

If I replace all my lights with LEDs will my heating costs increase?

A number of nations are passing bills to phase out incandescent light bulbs. The thinking is that the tungsten filament is an inefficient method of turning electricity into light, the rest of the ...
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1answer
700 views

What is heat and how does it effect an atom?

What happens in the atom when it gets heated or cooled and turns into gas, liquid or solid? I just want to know how does heat affect an atom.
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73 views

commutator to entropy in an uncertainty relationship?

Question: Does there exist a commutator to entropy in an uncertainty relationship? Similar Energy and time for instance.
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74 views

Can one get clear ice crystals from a dirty suspension?

Euteictic freeze crystallization is a method where an electrolytic solution is cooled and separated into a stream of (relativly) clean, pure ice and a salty brine. I know anectdotally of wine ...
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1answer
238 views

Error in Sear's and Zemansky's University Physics with Modern Physics 13th Edition (Young and Freeman)?

I was reading up on the Ideal Gas Equation in University Physics with Modern Physics by Young and Freeman when I chanced upon a seemingly illogical mathematical equation. Can anyone rectify this ...
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1answer
213 views

The definition of entropy

As history of thermodynamics say, it was a mystery that what is the required condition for a given energy conversion to take place? Like there are two possible events each conserving energy but only ...
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4answers
2k views

Which is more efficient, heating water in microwave or electric stove?

So our propane tank in the kitchen ran out again today. Which is more energy efficient, boiling water in a microwave on an electric stove? All things being equal i.e. starting temperature and mass ...
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2answers
7k 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 ...
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3answers
702 views

Why is a hot air balloon “stiff”?

1) Why is a hot air balloon stiff? 2) Is the pressure inside the balloon higher than the pressure outside (atmospheric pressure)? 3) If the pressure inside is higher than the outside, how is it ...
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39 views

EM Radiation and Heat

If there is EM radiation, will there always be a heat exchange between the wave and its surroundings? If you have an extremely energy-efficient light bulb that converts ALL the energy it receives into ...
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1answer
104 views

What is happening as our Universe is expanding? Is entropy increasing or decreasing?

Scientists say that entropy of our universe is increasing as it is expanding and our universe is cooling down gradually from the time of it's birth.If something is getting cooler and cooler then how ...
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2answers
123 views

How does a canvas water bag cool water?

I was reading about this water bottle by Botl that behaves like a canvas water bags to keep water cool. I found out that this idea is an old idea and cars would drive with water bags in front as shown ...
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1answer
142 views

How is NASA's mod II Stirling engine so powerful yet so small?

Is it because of the temperature difference? I just don't understand how it can propel a car. Here's the link to the engine: ...
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0answers
54 views

commutators in an uncertainty relationship derived from a partition function?

The maximum information principle for the discrete case gives rise to a partition function (>>> see details here) $$Z(\lambda_1,\ldots, \lambda_m) = \sum_{i=1}^n \exp\left[\lambda_1 f_1(x_i) + \cdots ...
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1answer
284 views

Can we make a Maxwell's Demon using Quantum Computers?

Although I'm reasonably sure that quantum computing advances will not lead to the ability to construct a machine that globally violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it feels like a difficult ...
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1answer
141 views

Determine the flow and amplitude equation for thermal energy (with Del operator)

It is a question vector calculus and Maxwell's laws. I put it this way. Let's say, we are working in a $3$-Dimensional space ( e.g $x\cdot y\cdot z = 4\cdot3\cdot2$, a certain room/class of that size ...
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1answer
251 views

Calculating temperature of water in the freezer

Assuming water volume ($V$), initial water temperature ($T_0$) and environment temperature ($T_e$) are known, what is the easiest way to calculate temperature of water in given time ($T$)? For the ...
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3answers
720 views

Maximum efficiency for a counter-current heat exchanger (double flux controlled motorized ventilation)

I am not sure if I can explain the question correctly because I don't know the name of this mechanism in English. This is my explanation attempt: In a house, a tube is expelling the air from the ...
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2answers
1k views

Are information conservation and energy conservation related?

as evident from the title, are both, conservation of energy and conservation of information two sides of the same coin?? Is there something more to the hypothesis of hawking's radiation other than ...
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202 views

If I put 3 bottles of water next to each other in the fridge, which one is cold first?

I was wondering: If I put three bottles of water next to each other in the fridge, which one is cold first? Does it matter? Is it the one in the middle because it gets refrigerated by the other two? ...
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2answers
84 views

What would give us more heat ? infrared or microwaves?

As we know that our body is made up mostly of water and the frequency of vibration of water molecules matches that of microwaves which is the working principle of microwave ovens. When we come in ...
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1answer
109 views

What are the experimental observations behind the first principle of thermodynamics?

As far as I understand it, the first principle of thermodynamics is a mere definition of the quantity “Heat”: $$\text d Q: = \text d L + \text d U.$$ This is somewhat the point of view taken in ...
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66 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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1answer
181 views

Does brown but transparent swimming pool water heat significantly faster than western style highly chlorinated pools?

Eastern European swimming pools are often brown tinted water. i was told it was the color of the chemical to keep the pools clean, but who knows. These pools did not smell unsanitary and may have even ...
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43 views

Negative temperature [duplicate]

How can we prove that if a negative-temperature system is in contact with a positive-temperature system, then the heat flow from the first to the second (and finally, the temperature of the second ...
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1answer
200 views

Math for Thermodynamics Basics

I am studying Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics from a book that i am not sure who has written it, because of its cover is not present. There is a section that i can not understand: ...
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1answer
236 views

Ideal gas temperature and pressure gradients?

Consider an ideal gas in a $d\times d\times L$ box with the $L$ dimension in the $x$-direction. Suppose that the opposite $d\times d$ sides of the box are held at temperatures $T_1$ and $T_2$ with ...
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1answer
4k views

How much work is needed to compress a certain volume of gas?

I want to know the formula (and what does the symbols stand for) for how much work is needed to compress a certain volume of gas?
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5answers
1k views

What is the most energy efficient way to boil an egg?

Starting with a pot of cold tap water, I want to cook a hard-boiled egg using the minimum amount of energy. Is it more energy efficient to bring a pot to boil first and then put the egg in it, or to ...