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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Air vs. Water attraction of Oxygen Molecules

The air we breathe is made up of nitrogen and oxygen gases. The water in a pond is made of a single hydrogen/oxygen molecule. If it wasn't for the surface tension on top of the water, oxygen molecules ...
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70 views

Surface Tension - Lung Alveoli

So, the way I understand this is as follows : The alveoli (pretend they're bubbles) have diameters of the order of microns implying a massive pressure required to inflate them by the Young-Laplace ...
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187 views

Is it more efficient to stack two Peltier modules or to set them side by side?

Is it more efficient to stack two Peltier modules or to set them side by side? And why? I have a small box that I want to cool down about 20 K below ambient -- cold, but not below freezing. (I want ...
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52 views

A simple osmosis problem

The following is adapted from a problematic question* asked on the Bio site. I would like to ask it free of those distractions here. If there is anything unduly artificial about the problem please ...
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79 views

Heat transfer from hot water through a copper pipe to oil in a tank

I want to build a geyser attached to a pump with copper tubing running into an oil tank. This is done because the oil solidifies at a temperature below 15 degrees Celsius. I have done a few ...
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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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198 views

Is quantum uncertainty principle related to thermodynamics?

Would like to ask a question, but first i would like to say Hello Everybody in a way that plays the system, since some geniouses decided that one should not be able to say hello in a question. The ...
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86 views

Can we reach absolute zero one day, and if so, can we measure it?

I was reading this question, and I had this doubt, if we can ever reach absolute zero, how can we measure it? I ask this because as far I know, any measurement could change (increase) the ...
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3k views

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero?

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero? I just do not see why our model must work the way ...
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105 views

Boltzmann constant--why units aren't joules per degree PER MOLECULE

I didn't think the information I looked at did a very good job of explaining the Boltzmann Constant, kB, but once I did this next simple calculation, it seemed clear that what I didn't understand were ...
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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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104 views

What's the efficiency of real heat engines?

Real heat engines always have lower efficiency than the Carnot efficiency. I wonder how efficient real engines can be? Can their efficiency get anywhere near the Carnot-limit?
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56 views

Thermal expansion of two bolts

I have this question asking me about the thermal expansions of two bolts, a steel one, and a brass one. I have the equation: $\ (\delta L/L)/T = \alpha $ I don't understand how I can use this ...
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180 views

Why do turbine engines work?

I know roughly how a turbine engine (let's say a gas turbine producing no jet thrust) is supposed to work: The compressor forces fresh air into a combustion chamber, where it reacts with fuel to ...
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3answers
111 views

Does one square centimenter of the sun core really radiate this amount of energy?

I have been thinking that since the core of the sun maintains its temperature at 15 million degrees Kelvin, then every cubic centimeter of this core is receiving a certain amount of energy to keep it ...
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52 views

Latent heat of condensation

Regarding atmospheric processes, I understand that energy is required to evaporate water by moving molecules further apart i.e. a phase change from liquid to gas. The air then ascends into the ...
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74 views

Which air will give more effective cooling ? Dry or Moist?

Yesterday, I had an innovative idea. I live in India, and in summer season, the temperature can reach up to 45 degree Celsius. We use Split 1.5 Ton AC in our small office. The idea is to put an ...
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35 views

Can the thermal energy in an object be aligned, creating a thermal jerk?

Thermal energy is related to the speed at which atoms vibrate, therefor thermal energy is a form of motion. In a stationary object, all of these vibrating atoms 'impact' each other in such a way that ...
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126 views

Principle of Caratheodory and The Second Law of Thermodynamics

Background Constantin Carathéodory formulated thermodynamics on a purely mathematical axiomatic foundation. His statement of the second law is known as the Principle of Carathéodory, which may be ...
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52 views

Enthalpic Excess - Regular Solution Upon Mixing

My professor, in his handout, says the following about this diagram : For $\beta>+2$ there are two minima and phase separation occurs driven by unfavourable enthalpic interactions. I ...
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72 views

The entropy of the universe in an irreversible cycle [closed]

Suppose we have an ideal gas performing an irreversible cycle composed by: an isothermal transformation at $T_{1}$; an isobaric transformation at $P_{A}$; an isothermal transformation at $T_{2}$; an ...
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63 views

Steady state average of physical quantities

Consider the following Hamiltonian: $$ H = \sum_n \left[\dfrac{p_n^2}{2m_n} + U(x_l) + V(x_{l+1} - x_l) \right], $$ that corresponds to a 1-D system of particles with nearest-neighbor interactions ...
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21 views

Hamiltonian (temperature?) and frame of reference

So we can define a particle by defining its kinetic and potential energy, knowing that we can get a wavefunction describing a particle. But the kinetic energy involves motion, and motion can be ...
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75 views

First Order Phase Transition - Heat Capacity

At constant pressure : $\frac{dH}{dT}=C_p $ Hence, why doesn't the graph of $C_p$ against $T$ show two perfectly horizontal lines (with the obvious discontinuity) ? I mean the gradient of $H$ ...
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20 views

If maximal work is extracted, in what manner does the heat flow between bodies?

There are two bodies starting with different temperatures and specific heat capacities (for simplicity assume that the bodies are solid to the volumes are constant). Let the rate of heat flow from ...
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3answers
209 views

Why change in internal energy is zero in isothermal process

In isothermal process $\Delta U =0$. But I am having trouble understanding it. Say we have an ideal gas, and say my temperature is constant but I move the pressure, volume from $(P, V) \to (P-dP, ...
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34 views

Chemical Potential with Pressure at Constant Temperature

The above picture shows how the Gibbs free energy of a solid, liquid and gas vary with pressure. I have found no similar graphs on the internet that match the above. Instead I often find these ...
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68 views

Is there a conveniently small unit of volume for talking about molecules?

When discussing energy transformations on the molecular scale, we usually use electronvolts as the energy unit. This is handy because chemical bond energies are a few electronvolts in magnitude. I ...
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809 views

Wrapping plastic in aluminium foil to protect it from heat

Does it make any sense to wrap the plastic handle of a pan in aluminium foil to protect it from overheating when placing it to the hot oven?
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47 views

Exception to weight of hot vs cold water?

I have seen the various posts regarding the comparison of weight of heated and cold water.But is there any contradiction?I live in really hot conditions and as such tap water literally 'boils' ...
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92 views

Specific Heat equations - paradox!

We know that enthalpy is $h = u + pv$. Where $u, p, v, h$ are internal energy, pressure, volume, and enthalpy respectively. Now specific heat at constant volume is calculated as $c_v = \frac{\partial ...
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4answers
103 views

role of entropy in gibbs free energy intuition

I have looked at various derivations of the Gibbs free energy equation and the underlying definition of the gibbs free energy. However I have been unable to attain direct insight/intuition over the ...
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44 views

Why formation of rain is adiabatic?

I recently went through the wikipedia page for Rain. It said that There are four main mechanisms for cooling the air to its dew point: adiabatic cooling, conductive cooling,.... It proceeds as ...
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36 views

Which metal will be on the surface after solidification?

I know that there are some metals that just "like" to be on a surface, so if I make an alloy of such metal and some other metal, the first one will be on the surface after solidification of initially ...
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28 views

Energy stored in a battery?

I want to calculate the energy lost from a battery to heat, and the energy stored in a battery. Are these formula's correct? $ E_b$ = $I$$V$ x $t$ $ E_H$ = $I$$R$$^2$ x $t$ $E_b$ = energy stored in ...
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43 views

How can I calculate the speed at which water evaporates when held at 100 degrees Celsius?

If I have a mixture of some higher bp solvents and water, and I heat it to 100 degrees celcius so that the water in the mixture begins to boil, how can I calculate the rate at which water leaves the ...
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49 views

California “firenados”

There are spectacular rotating towers of fire that can be seen in recent television images of fire in California. In this video, we see that these fire towers can rotate either clockwise or counter ...
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139 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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35 views

Chemical potential in terms of temperature and pressure

For part (a), I know how to take the partial derivatives of S to get chemical potential, pressure. But there seems that I still need one equation to correctly express chemical potential in terms of ...
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81 views

Can water evaporate when frozen?

If an ice cube is stored in a freezer could it evaporate given enough time? Is there a temperature below which water cannot evaporate (even just a little)?
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Water Displacement in the Oceans As a result of Global Warming [duplicate]

Not sure if this is the right place to ask this but here goes. If the north pole ice sheets melt, everyone agrees this would be a bad thing, however one of the reasons they state for this being a bad ...
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50 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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122 views

Thermo-Emf variation with temperature

In the following experiment for seebeck effect After a certain temperature, the thermo-emf begins to fall. Why does this happen? What is happening microscopically at this level to cause such an ...
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358 views

If temperature is average KE per particle, and heat is total KE of all the particles, how can molar heat capacity vary?

If temperature is defined as the average kinetic energy per particle, and heat energy is defined as the total kinetic energy of all the particles (or more strictly, heat transferred is the total ...
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35 views

How to calculate the amount of energy in joules/s that gas oven uses?

I know there may be missing information, but my question is really simple and yet I haven't found an answer to it. To make things easy, let's assume we have a $40×40×40$ cm oven that we want to keep ...
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2answers
128 views

Description of the heat equation with an additional term

I have the following equation: $$\frac{\partial U}{\partial t}=k\frac{\partial^2 U}{\partial x^2}-v_{0}\frac{\partial U}{\partial x}, x>0$$ with initial conditions: $$U(0,t)=0$$ $$U(x,0)=f(x)$$ ...
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33 views

Would adding water after heating decrease the overall heat, when compared to adding the water before heating for the same period of time?

I was rather cold last night, and warmed up a cup of water to drink in the microwave. I put it in for 60 seconds, but it came out boiling hot, so I put a bit of cold water in with the hot water, and ...
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Why does a water drop on a hot plate at $150^o C$ evaporate faster than on a plate at $200^o C$?

I recently read that: "A drop of water landing on a hot plate at $150^o C \:(300 F)$ evaporates in a few seconds. A drop of water landing on a hot plate at $200^o C \:(400 F)$ survives a whole ...
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First law of thermodynamics applied to atmospheric fluid

I was reading an article that talks on a climate prediction model. This article proposes the following equation (energy balance): $$\rho_0 c_v\left( \frac{\partial T}{\partial t} + \sum^{3}_{j=1} ...
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45 views

How come evaporation is possible? [duplicate]

If I have wet clothes and put them on the ground and let the Sun shine on them, they dry as water evaporates. But water should evaporate at 100 degrees Celsius so how come they go dry if it's just ...