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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Why are some of the biggest stars known blue?

My question refers to an overview of the biggest stars we know: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4138/4820647230_faba1c9f3b_o.jpg Why are some of those blue?
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4answers
209 views

How to measure the energy consumption class of a home appliance? [closed]

Some of you may be familiar with the EU energy consumption classes for domestic appliances (or equivalents in other areas). Let's say we have a domestic appliance which was made before the energy ...
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2answers
58 views

Measurement of heat in electrons

Is there any method to measure the heat of an electron and if there is; then is it a constant or a variable.
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75 views

Why cannot wood be fully burnt?

Burning wood emits smoke and black. Provided more oxygen or whatever required, can wood be practically burnt fully like petroleum gasses that emits a blue flame and little smoke and little black.
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1answer
327 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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738 views

Does the global financial system violate laws of thermodynamics and energy conservation? [closed]

For the past years I am thinking about relating concepts from physics to concepts from economics. Especially since the financial crisis made obvious the instability of the financial system I ask ...
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71 views

The 1st law of thermodynamics

If a gas expands adiabatically will the work done be positive or negative? I think it will be positive as $\delta W=p dV$ and we have a positive sign due to the work done by the gas is positive as it ...
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114 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
67 views

Can I manually speed up convection?

Let's say, I have half bucket of boiling water and I have added equal amount of freeze cold water to it. I want to have equilibrium temperature reached as quick as possible. Can I speed up the ...
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136 views

How can there be any probability of finding the molecules clustered in half of the box,the other being empty?

Suppose,there are six molecules(indistinguishable) constantly jostling around in a box. The central configuration is when there are $3$ molecules in either halves of the box and having probability ...
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115 views

If the specific heat capacity depend upon the temperature, what formula we should use instead of $Q=mc\Delta T$

Recently, I learned that specific heat capacity is not constant in different temperatures and it depends on the temperature.If I have diagram like this (consider that the red part is a quarter of ...
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2k 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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1k views

Is carbon dioxide a greenhouse gas? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What experiments prove the greenhouse effect? I am seeking for a proof that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. I posted this on Skeptic.SE recently but found no help in seeking ...
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49 views

How much work do I need to convert 300ml of water from 25°C to 3°C? [closed]

A question on how to apply thermodynamics principles to figure out how much work is needed to hold 300ml water in room temperature at 3°C. So far I have: 1Cal for each degree per g of water. We have ...
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2answers
47 views

Is liquid helium expensive because of its rarity or because of its low liquidification temperature?

I once argued with my roommate about this problem. Of course it is rare. But presumably the low liquidification temperature makes the cost high too. So which is the primary reason?
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3answers
141 views

Is my conceptual understanding pertaining to heat & temperature correct?

From what I've understood: Heat is the total sum of translational energy possessed by individual atoms in an object. Temperature is the average translational energy possessed by individual atoms ...
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1answer
85 views

Why are we using water pipe instead of air pipe to warm our houses? [closed]

In France, most of the houses are using water pipes. I wonder why this choice was originally done.
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4answers
122 views

Boyle's law- what's the big deal if temperature is not constant?

Boyle's law: At constant temperature of the gas, the volume of a given mass of a gas is inversely proportional to its pressure. So, Boyle's law is talking about isothermal condition,right? But, ...
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111 views

Why is there a limited range of possible soap bubble size?

Soap bubbles are never "too small" or "too large". What defines the range of possible diameters of a soap bubble? Related questions: Why do steam bubbles increase in size as they rise, Why is the ...
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148 views

What to do when you are sitting in a closed room without any fan or AC

I suffered this today, when the solar panels of our college stopped to work. Imagine a situation in which you are sitting in a botany lecture conducted by a 73 year old man, who cannot speak loud and ...
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1answer
84 views

Relationship between temperature and energy

What is the definition of temperature in relation to energy? I'm mostly interested in general dimensional terms. Is temperature the kinetic energy per mass? Or kinetic energy per volume?
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3answers
103 views

Is it possible to have $\Delta T\neq 0$ with no heat exchange $Q=0$, no work $W=0$ done, and no change in internal energy $\Delta E=0$?

Is it possible to have $Q=0$, $\Delta E=0$ and $W=0$, but $\Delta T\neq 0$? In particular, if there is no change in internal energy, doesn't that imply it is an isothermal process, and therefore that ...
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60 views

Heating a black body

By definition, Black body has absotivity=emmisstivity=1. This means the black body radiates all energy it accepts. Does this mean the black body cant be heated?
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4answers
334 views

'Polar Vortex' Boiling Water to Snow is Mpemba Effect?

I am based far away from the icy storm currently blanketing the US - the 'polar vortex'. However, I have seen in the TV news footage of reporters throwing boiling water into the air, the water ...
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4answers
7k views

How do you determine the heat transfer from a P-V diagram?

I doubt this question has been addressed properly before, but if there are similar answers, do direct them to me. I am currently studying the First Law of Thermodynamics, which includes the p-V ...
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1k views

How temperature gradient is a vector?

Everyone knows Temperature gradient is a vector quantity having direction from cold to hot.My confusion: why is temperature gradient vector if its direction is always fixed (as in the case of ...
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4k views

Plotting the maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution in matlab

I'm trying to plot a maxwell-boltzman velocity distribution in matlab. I have also asked this question at cross validated without much luck The PDF is f(v)=sqrt(m/2*pi*k*T) * exp(-m*v^2/2*k*T) ...
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661 views

Why laundry dry up also in cold/frost?

Why laundry dry up also in cold/frost? When you have frost, water in the clothes should freeze, but if clothes are dry, then it should be possible that steam in the clothes does not have time to ...
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1answer
1k views

Salt and boiling speed

When we add a compound (salt) to a solvent, the boiling points rises. But, what could we say about the speed the solvent reaches the boiling point? It's better to add salt before or after boiling ...
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1answer
240 views

Is this a simple system in which no heat transfer is possible?

Let's say that a hot gas is trapped in a metal box. This metal box is magnetically suspended in another structure with a low temperature. The inner box does not touch anything. And there is a void in ...
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
84 views

What is dynamic equilibrium actually?

Recently I have asked question sort of like that: Is thermodynamic equilibrium static or dynamic ? But then I wanted to realize what actually a dynamic equilibrium is. I read the wiki article, ...
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4answers
83 views

Does it matter which blanket I take below and which one above when I cover myself with the two? [closed]

If I take two different blankets to cover myself, does it matter which one I take below and which one above? Will both the arrangements give me the same comfort or one of them will give me better ...
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100 views

Residual Entropy - Third Law

I've been told that many systems possess some residual entropy at absolute zero. This would seem to disagree with the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics? How can this be explained physically speaking? I am ...
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54 views

Why radiant heat only travels as infra-red waves and not as other types of em waves like UV rays

Heat is a form of energy and em waves carry energy as momentum of photons. So, I think, radiant heat can travel at any frequency. Please correct me.
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10k 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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2answers
108 views

requirements for hydrogen fusion

What are the requirements for hydrogen atoms to go through fusion? Is it a ratio of heat to pressure or are there specific heat and pressure values that must be met (per atom or per mole?) Are there ...
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532 views

Why is the direction of a flame is always upward? [duplicate]

why a candle's flame direction is always upward? What is the coposition of fire? Don't say it's energy. There is something else.
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4answers
542 views

Is vapour pressure based on partial pressures or just total pressure on the liquid?

The explanation for the boiling point of water is that at 100C, the vapour pressure becomes greater than atmospheric pressure. But say you had a a jar of water sealed in argon at 1atm, which is larger ...
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2answers
879 views

Difference between pressure and stress tensor

What is the difference between hydrostatic pressure and stress tensor?
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1answer
77 views

Temperatures at extreme densities

Cosmology (and astrophysics) talk about the "initial singularity" (IS, became the big bang) and "black hole singularities" (BS, inside black holes), and these appear to be quite different: The IS is ...
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1k views

Electric heating rod

I usually heat my bathing water with electric heating rod, I always thought that the base of rod is an insulator so that it can develop high heat. But when I tried touching water while rod was dipped ...
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1answer
937 views

Burning VS Melting: What is the relation in the atomic/molecular structure?

This has never been asked before on this site, so I thought I would ask this to help future searchers, passerbys, or others understand this better. What are the key differences between burning ...
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2answers
881 views

How can a rapid change in the volume of a gas cause changes in its temperature?

We were learning about Boyle's law (pressure is inversely proportional to volume of a gas) and in the experiment to prove the law, we were told that we cannot change the volume of a gas too rapidly ...
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1answer
108 views

Why basements stay cold even during summer?

Why a room below the surface (such as basements) can stay cold all the time? How is it able to avoid the high increase of temperature and heat in hot days and periods?
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2answers
1k views

Is there a heat transfer equation that takes conduction, convection, radiation and dT/dt into account?

I see equations that take 2 or 3 of the listed parameters into account but I haven't been able to find one that is that complete. I'm seeking to solve this equation using matlab for a simulation ...
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3answers
31k views

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
3k views

How to calculate incident solar energy on earth in a given day with a spectral filter

The daily solar radiation irradiation is often quoted as being between $3.2 \text{ kW hours}/\text{m}^2$ and $7 \text{kW hours}/\text{m}^2$ per day . If you filter out a range of wavelengths, how can ...
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1answer
481 views

How long does the 2nd pot of water take to boil right after the 1st one finishes?

Say I have a pot of water that boils in 20 minutes, at whatever temperature. If I leave the fire on, take the pot off, pour the hot water into a container, refill the pot with tap water and put it ...
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2answers
186 views

Electric power transmission

If we want to transmit electic current for a long distance, we must minimize a heat that releases because of the resistanse. We cannot make a cable wide because it is expensive and it will be massive. ...