# Tagged Questions

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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### 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 ...
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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### 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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### 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? ...
2answers
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?
1answer
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### 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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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 ...
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 ...
1answer
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### 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 ...
2answers
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 ...
4answers
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, $$T_2=T_1(1+\frac12\alpha\Delta T)$$ ...
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 ...
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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### $Q=mc\Delta t$ 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 ...
2answers
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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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 ...
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 ...
2answers
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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### 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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### 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 ...
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 ...
2answers
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 ...
4answers
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### 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 ...
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. ...
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?
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