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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135 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
2k views

What is the difference between classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics? [duplicate]

What is the difference between classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics? To me, they are greatly different but are different approaches for explaining same thing. But I do prefer ...
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980 views

A precise definition of macroscopic and microscopic objects

What are the formal definitions of "macroscopic object" and "microscopic object". How can one differentiate between them? I mean, is there any fixed condition by which we can distinguish between them?
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695 views

How does a dehumidifier work?

I have read sites like this, but I am just not getting it yet. I'm looking to understand the variables involved, which I think are: air moisture content air flow (cfm?) condenser surface area? ...
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111 views

Why not assimilate nuclear waste into “igneous” rock?

I was reading a question about why not to drop nuclear waste into volcanoes; the short answer is it would come back out and not be rendered safe. Ignoring the cost and energy requirements, why can't ...
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2k views

What happens to heat waste produced by energy generation?

What happens to heat waste produced by energy generation on earth that must be there according to the laws of thermodynamics? So, it never dissipates and remains on earth?
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1answer
118 views

Is $E=mc^2$ reserved to nuclear physics?

I was wondering, while putting a log in my fireplace, how much energy the piece of wood would give. The most famous formula poped into my head: $E=m \cdot c ^ 2$! Is this formula applicable to a ...
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36k views

Thermodynamics - Sign convention

I use the sign convention: Heat absorbed by the system = $q+$ (positive) Heat evolved by the system = $q-$ (negative) Work done on the system = $w +$ (positive) Work done by the system = $w -$ (...
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2answers
207 views

Using CO2 to air condition a room

I'm trying to determine how much dry ice or liquid nitrogen I would need to cool 3300 cubic feet, about 90,000 liters of air, from about 100F (37.78C or 310K) to about 90F (26.67C or 299.81K). I'm ...
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1answer
297 views

Does the Grand Canonical Ensemble allow for exchange of particles or not?

I was doing some reading on wikipedia and found it interesting that one page says the Grand Canonical Ensemble does not allow for exchange of particles, however another page says it does. So I went on ...
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1answer
82 views

Is water boiling an excited state?

I was wondering and arguing (pro) with a friend that the process of water boiling is an excitation. I based my opinion on the theory that excitation is an increase in the energy level of an atom. I ...
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132 views

Does shaking a kettle whilst boiling increase the temperature faster than a statically-placed jug?

Water molecules move faster at higher temperatures. Does shaking a boiling kettle whilst it is in the process of boiling water increase the rate of rising temperature ? Is it worthwhile to do so ...
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173 views

how is a pendulum clock's time and the time period of the pendulum in it related? [closed]

I'm working out how much time a pendulum clock will gain or loose due to change of the length of the pendulum due to temperature. so far I've got, new time period, $$T_2=T_1(1+\frac12\alpha\Delta T)$$ ...
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1answer
357 views

If I mix 1 unit of water at at 30C° with 1 unit of water at 60C°, is the resulting water at 45C°? [closed]

I'm curious how temperatures work when mixing water. I'm not very good at physics but I'm always learning. Let's say I've 1 gallon of water at 30C° and 1 gallon of water at 60C°, and I mix them ...
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3answers
110 views

Can a single particle be “heated” by radiation?

From the point of view of statistical thermodynamics, a single particle doesn't have a phase (state of matter), nor temperature. What would happen if heat is transported to this single particle via ...
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214 views

$Q=mc\Delta t$ vs $Q=c\Delta t$

The thermal capacity of a $60 \;\mathrm{kg}$ human is $210 \;\mathrm{kJ/°C}$. How much heat is lost from a body if its temperature drops by $2\;\mathrm{ °C}$? My original working out was: $$Q=mc\...
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100 views

The thermal expansion of material

The question is that: they drill a hole in the middle of a metal. Then when this metal is heated, will the hole become larger or smaller? The hole will get bigger, by experiment, but I think that when ...
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168 views

Is a larger, heated space easier or harder to ventilate if the heat source and ventilation are the same?

Imagine a well insulated room with a heat source inside. The room has two vents, which each have a fan. Cool air is drawn into the room through one vent, and warm air is pushed out the other vent. ...
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103 views

Why is $c_p$ higher than $c_v$?

why is heat capacity at constant pressure higher than heat capacity at constant volume? It is supposed to be this way, since if you increase $C_p$ in volume work is being done, in other case not. This ...
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3answers
342 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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1answer
179 views

Boltzmann Distribution - Why maximum number of microstates?

I've recently started to learn statistical mechanics and I've run into Boltzmann Distribution. I wanted to see how it is derived and found some articles on web, but no one of them explain why the idea ...
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187 views

Finding Maxwell relations

I feel I am missing something about deriving Maxwell relations. I have read http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-044-statistical-physics-i-spring-2013/readings-notes-slides/MIT8_044S13_notes.Max.pdf ...
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486 views

Extensive variables in thermodynamics

Extensive variables in thermodynamics are those which scale linearly with the system size. It is known that a ratio of two extensive variables is an intensive variable. Now, the number of particles (...
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461 views

Determining a temperature increase from heat energy [closed]

A 15.0g bullet traveling horizontally at 865 $\frac{m}{s}$ passes through at a tank containing $13.5$kg of water and emerges with a speed of $534\frac{m}{s}$. What is the maximum temperature increase ...
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1answer
1k views

How does the entropy change during the cooling of a hot coffee in a cold cup?

The second Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy always increases in the universe: things become more disorganised. This means, that if I have a hot coffee in a cold cup, then the heat will ...
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85 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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4answers
305 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 blankets together, one is more insulating and the other less insulating, to cover myself, does it matter which one I take below and which one above? Will there be the same amount of heat ...
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343 views

How is energy transferred in Joules law of heating?

Joule's law of heating states that an accelerated electron loses its energy, which is then converted into heat energy, by colliding with vibrating atom i.e ions in their lattice site. but we know atom ...
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1answer
286 views

Why wouldn't a room temperature superconductor violate the laws of physics?

I understand that the laws of physics (as we know them) cannot be violated, but what I would like to know is what I'm missing, because I know there is some explanation that I'm not accounting for. ...
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3answers
174 views

Is there a minimum energy content of information, other than 0 Joules?

Lets say I want to send the bit string 010110 to someone. Is there a theoretical lower bound on the energy needed to do this?
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1answer
3k 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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301 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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8k views

How does heat pass through glass?

So infra-red and ultra-violet waves from the sun heat up the glass by conduction then it then radiates this heat to heat up a room or a car? Is that right? How would one calculate how much heat a ...
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1k views

Must a reversible engine be a carnot engine?

I have this homework question: "Show that any reversible engine operating between T1 and T2 is a carnot engine." I think I have a solution, but it feels very hand-wavy. We know that any process that ...
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3answers
72k 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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2answers
270 views

Why aren't the energies of two systems in thermal equilibrium fixed?

In the derivation of the Boltzmann distribution they consider a system $A$, enclosed by a diathermal wall in a heat reservoir $R$. Then they calculate the probability that the system $A$ is in an ...
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1answer
20k 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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8k views

Why does Joule-Thomson expansion of a gas do no (external) work?

I understand one of the benefits of the Hampson-Linde cycle is that there are no cold-side moving parts, but isn't one losing an awful lot of energy in the throttling process? There must be something ...
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1answer
634 views

Heat transfer, Cold vs. Hot

If you boil water inside a pot the outer rim bubbles first, I imagine because its hotter. Does that same concept apply for the inside of a refrigerator for example. Is the outer rim always more ...
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1k views

Why isn't pressure a measure of energy?

Hey guys, I'm having a problem in understanding the 1st Law of Thermodynamics. If i would increase the pressure of a closed system by compressing a gas in a cylinder isothermal, the 1.Law states, ...
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50 views

Is the work done by gas necessarily positive if the cycle is travelled clockwise in the $P-V$ plane (and viceversa)?

Is it always true, for any cycle followed by a gas, that, if the cycle is "travelled" clockwise in the $P-V$ plane then the work exchanged by the gas is positive, and viceversa for the clockwise ...
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2answers
43 views

Is the top of an iceberg floating above the waterlevel equal to the expanding of the whole iceberg?

When water freezes it expands and is getting less dense. But is this expansion of the total iceberg equal to the top of an iceberg floating just above sealevel?
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60 views

Heat Developed in a Resistor

What does the graph that represents the total heat developed from time t = 0 by a resistor carrying a steady current look like (where heat is on the y-axis and time is on the x-axis)? The answer ...
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4answers
110 views

Is it possible for a system to become irreversible?

Imagine a ball bouncing in a box for a long time. We know, there is a certain path it can go to bounce off infinitely (see the image). If it gets to this state, it will never be able to get back again....
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3answers
99 views

Evaporation of water

Consider a cylinder that there is water inside it. The volume (and so the pressure) of the cylinder is adjustable by a piston. The thickness of the cylinder and piston is very negligible. The cylinder ...
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3answers
124 views

How is pressure kept constant in Charles' Law?

Generally, a piston is kept on top of a cylinder containing the gas. The gas is heated and it expands causing a change in the volume. I was wondering how might one keep the pressure constant. Websites ...
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33 views

Heat capacity at constant volume and internal energy

I read that heat supplied at constant volume to a system containing ideal gas changes the internal energy of system, i.e $q=nC_v\Delta T=\delta U$ But what happens if I heat a system and change its ...
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73 views

How does the fundamental assumption of statistical physics make sense?

Consider two systems A and B in thermal contact. System A has $N_A=3$ simple harmonic oscillators and the system B has $N_B=3$ simple harmonic oscillators as well. Each system has a number of energy ...