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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858 views

What is more efficient: Add milk, and then heat up coffee in the microwave, or microwave than milk?

Adding milk first increases the volume to heat and lowers average temerature, but adding it afterwards seems to have similar effects. How can you compare the two?
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1answer
133 views

Flory-Huggins ternary phase diagram with a neutral component

I am searching the literature for the Flory-Huggins phase diagram with the following components : polymer, solvent, and a third component that does not interact with the other components (just entropy ...
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3answers
166 views

Is there any optical component that uniformizes the incoming light?

Is there any optical component in existence that uniformizes randomly pointing rays?
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3answers
299 views

Is there really such a thing as an irreversible process?

If an isolated system goes from a state A to B, will it always eventually fluctuate back to state A? If not, give an simple example. Is it right to say that entropy only says that the probability ...
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1answer
130 views

What is meant by boiling off electrons in a heater coil?

In my electricity and magnetism course, we used a Thompson tube to produce an electron beam. There is a heating element at the back of the tube and the lab manual claims that "electrons are boiled ...
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1answer
140 views

Uncertainty and Thermodynamics

Dilemma The uncertainty principle of energy and the 2nd law of thermodynamics don't add up : the uncertainty principle of energy says that $\Delta \tau \cdot \Delta E \ge \frac{h}{4\pi} = ...
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4answers
400 views

Irreversible expansion and time reversal symmetry

Suppose there are N non-interacting classical particles in a box, so their state can be described by the $\{\mathbf{x}_i(t), \mathbf{p}_i(t) \}$. If the particles are initially at the left of the box, ...
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3answers
207 views

How “things” radiate electromagnetic radiation? [closed]

How things radiate electromagnetic radiation? I don't ask why they radiate (higher temperature than 0K) but how they radiate this electromagnetic waves?
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4answers
1k views

How slow is a reversible adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas?

A truly reversible thermodynamic process needs to be infinitesimally displaced from equilibrium at all times and therefore takes infinite time to complete. However, if I execute the process slowly, I ...
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5answers
5k views

If I take a bottle of air into space, and open it, where does it go?

It seems to me that space doesn't have any/much air, and if my bottle is full of air, when I open it, where does the air go?
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3answers
2k views

How long does it take an iceberg to melt in the ocean?

This is a quantitative question. The problem is inspired by this event: On August 5, 2010, an enormous chunk of ice, roughly 97 square miles (251 square kilometers) in size, broke off the Petermann ...
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3answers
629 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 ...
8
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1answer
220 views

Will entropy continue to increase even if the universe begins to contract?

If the universe is heading for a big crunch, when the universe starts to collapse will entropy decrease and the arrow of time consequently reverse or not? I'm interested in the explanations, not just ...
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1answer
414 views

Modification of Newton's Law of Cooling

Yesterday I randomly started thinking about Newton's Law of Cooling. The problem I realized is that it assumes the ambient temperature stays constant over time, which is obviously not true. So what I ...
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2answers
763 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 ...
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2answers
166 views

How do greenhouse gases trap heat?

I am looking for a molecular-level understanding of the greenhouse effect. What is it about the carbon-dioxide molecule (and methane, and water, etc) that is different from other gasses ...
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4answers
3k 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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2answers
1k views

Why isn't water running faster hotter?

I was running the washing up water this morning, and started to think about why the cold tap isn't hot, and why the water doesn't get hotter the faster it is flowing (if anything, the cold tap gets ...
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2answers
103 views

Are there materials that get softer with temperature decrease?

Could be there material that begins melting/softening when it's temperature is lowered? I would say no, but I've seen enough physics to know that not always life is so easy. Moreover I think I've ...
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2answers
415 views

Is there a phase transition between a gas and plasma?

Does a phase transition occur as a gas is heated to create a plasma? If so, is this a first or second order phase transition? Also, does the presence of a phase transition depend on the pressure or ...
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5answers
2k views

Can I take heat from the air and convert it to electricity?

Its a summer day and the air in my house has been heated up. I could switch on my air conditioning, but then I'd be using energy from the grid in order to reduce the amount of energy in my house. ...
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4answers
769 views

Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Arrow of Time: Why isn't time considered fundamental?

I've come across this explanation that the "arrow of time" is a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics, which says that the entropy of an isolated system is always increasing. The argument is ...
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1answer
1k views

Why did my liquid soda freeze once I pulled it out of the fridge?

Can someone explain in both layman's terms and also technically why when I pulled my glass filled with liquid soda from the freezer, the liquid soda quickly froze? Doesn't this violate the 2nd law of ...
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3answers
8k views

Why do lightbulbs continue to glow after the light is turned off?

I've noticed that whenever I turn the lamp off in my room at night, the lightbulb seems to continue to glow for a minute or so after that. It's not bright though; the only way I even notice it is if ...
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2answers
1k 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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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 ...
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1answer
490 views

Estimating hydrogen loss by Jeans escape

I'm looking at Jeans (thermal) escape of hydrogen from the early Earth's atmosphere. I understand how to calculate the rate in (g cm^-2 s^-1) using the number density, average particle velocity, and ...
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2answers
549 views

Experiments that measure the time a gas takes to reach equilibrium

If you take two ideal gases at different temperatures, and allow them to share energy through heat, they'll eventually reach a thermodynamic equilibrium state that has higher entropy than the ...
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2answers
203 views

Why does my kettle only make a noise when it is turned on

Almost as soon as I turn my kettle on it starts to make the familiar kettle noise, yet very shortly after turning off the power the boiling noise stops and the kettle is totally silent. The ...
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2answers
2k 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
341 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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2answers
685 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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5answers
1k views

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

Wikipedia - Second law of thermodynamics: ...the entropy of any closed system not in thermal equilibrium almost always increases. I understand that the second law of thermodynamics is based on ...
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3answers
729 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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4answers
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
409 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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2answers
631 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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2answers
267 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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1answer
286 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
396 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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3answers
3k 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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2answers
448 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 ...
3
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1answer
757 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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3answers
632 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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2answers
312 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
640 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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0answers
91 views

Is there a relation between (non-) existence of magnetic monopoles and thermodynamics?

This question follows on previous work on connections between (other) areas of physics and thermodynamics as in here, here and even here. P. Dirac (an electrical engineer initially) was one of the ...
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5answers
334 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
964 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.