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 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 ...
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89 views

Heat diffusion in a house

I was wondering about this problem (which is NOT homework, it's one of my mental problems due to what surrounds me): supposing I'm in a room, and it's winter. Heating is on, the boiler works and the ...
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42 views

Equation of state in General Relativity versus microscopic description of the fluid

I can't find the answer to the following question. Consider matter fields in General Relativity, assume it to be a perfect fluid. Then its equation of state is, by definition: $$ w=\frac{p}{\rho} = \...
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89 views

Effects of inner painting in the temperature of room

which room will stay warmer for long time in winter night.The room with inner painting black or white?
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116 views

Why is the change in enthalpy, $\Delta H$, defined as $\Delta H = \Delta U+P\Delta V$?

If we define work as $w=-P\Delta V$ (so that during expansion work done by the system is negative), wouldn't it make more sense to say that $\Delta H = \Delta U-P\Delta V$ since $\Delta H = \Delta U+w$...
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74 views

Hot bullets and shot cowboys [closed]

Please excuse the title of the question, there is physics involved here, but I can't think of a way of writing the title without it being more to the point of the question. A cowboy film is pure ...
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136 views

The statistical interpretation of Entropy

I recently got introduced to the Statistical Mechanics, particularly, the Statistical Interpretation of Entropy and am utterly confused regarding the following problem: Imagine a box with two ...
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175 views

What makes metal change its color during heating?

What happens on atomic and molecular level? Is this true also for non-metals and metalloids?
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298 views

Can a Dyson Sphere around a Black Hole be built so that it would not radiate significant IR?

This is related to this question If the sphere surrounded a BH and used it as a heat dump (as well as extracting energy from it by dropping in mass) could its exterior be engineered to match the ...
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174 views

Monatomic gas work

Recently I was trying to solve the following problem: monatomic gas expanded from 0.2 to 0.5 m^3 and pressure increased from 404 to 808 kPa. Find work done by gas, heat gained and change in internal ...
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2k views

Why bodies lose heat faster in water than in air?

A simple question. In several places, including this very recent and already famous paper http://www.sciencemag.org/content/348/6236/786.short it is stated that bodies lose heat in water very fast ...
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128 views

What is the solution for the apparent contradiction of Second law due to energy fluctuation?

A system has maximum entropy when it has reached thermal equilibrium. But as statistical mechanics say, there is always an otherwise infinitesimal probability of particles to confine at a corner of ...
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536 views

Calculate the rise in temperature from directed radiation [closed]

For example I have a 1 watt laser and direct it to a sheet of metal (copper), if I were to direct it for say a time interval of 1 minute what would be the change in temperature? I can predict that it ...
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51 views

resistivity and temperature scan rate [closed]

100 amperes pass through a copper bar of $5$x$5$ mm cross-section. The resistivity of copper is $1.7 $x $10^{-8}$ ohm-metres. Its volumetric heat capacity is $3.45$ joules per kelvin per cc. ...
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404 views

second law of thermodynamics

I'm a high school rookie learning thermodynamics right now by myself. I got really confused that the second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of the universe is always increasing. If the ...
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1k views

How does the temperature in a bucket of water with ice change over time?

I'm curious what happens to the temperature of the water in a bucket of water with ice in it. Let's start with a bucket with just ice in it, and we add water, in a room which is room temperature. It ...
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133 views

Internal energy and photon absorption

I just wish to confirm whether my understanding is correct. I know that photon absorption/emission brings about quantised changes in electron energy levels. Photons (infrared) also interact with ...
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97 views

Lev Landau's proof of molecular motion at absolute zero?

I am reading the book "The man they wouldn't let die" by Alexander Dorozynski, which is an biography of Russian theoretical physicist Lev Landau, and I have encountered this passage Absolute zero ...
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892 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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256 views

Gas vs electric cooking

I've heard it said many times that you're more likely to burn food on an electric stove than a gas one, but I can't tell a difference. This seems to me to be a fallacy perpetuated by the natural gas ...
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5k views

Surface Area: Volume and its relation with heat

In biology, it is stated that more surface area and less volume helps for keeping bodies cool. How can one explain this phenomena in terms of physics?
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291 views

Separation of variables in various PDEs, physical meaning

The method of separation of variables produces an undetermined separation constant and a family of solutions indexed by the values of this constant. For instance, in the case of an infinitely long ...
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314 views

Do superheating and supercooling only occur from liquid?

Superheating of a liquid past its boiling point (retarded boiling) is a well-known phenomenon. However, is there such a thing as supercooling of gas past its condensation point? Conversely, ...
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382 views

What is the temperature of a quantum particle in a box?

Some simple examples in textbooks include simple 1D systems such as particle in an infinite potential well or in harmonic oscillator potential. It is also said that at absolute temperature of the ...
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95 views

energy source for phase transformation-latent heat of vapourisation

As per my knowledge, phase transformation require energy gain or loss.if we are changing a liquid to gas we heat it and that is how molecules of liquid gains energy and lattice spacing increases and ...
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566 views

Why do pressure and chemical potential depend on temperature, instead of having symmetric definitions?

I'm following an introduction to statistical mechanics and have seen the following definitions for fundamental temperature, pressure and chemical potential respectively: $$\frac{1}{\tau} := \left( \...
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523 views

How to determine the amount of light energy (photons) being released from an incandescent light bulb?

I have got this all down pat: 1.Collision with a moving particle excites an atom. 2.This causes an electron to jump to a higher energy level. 3.The electron falls back to its original energy level, ...
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1k views

Adiabatic filling of a container

Suppose a thermally insulated container is filled with atmospheric air until the pressure reaches 5000 psi. This could represent the filling of a diving cylinder, before thermal dissipation becomes ...
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274 views

What is the net radiative balance between two blackbodies with different temperature?

Context In trying to understand a crop productivity model, I want to figure out how to derive the equation for the net exchange of longwave radiation between two adjacent blackbodies (soil and ...
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189 views

Extreme heating by Sun on Earth- Can eggs be fried?

Will it be possible to fry eggs in Sahara desert by just keeping them under the sun? If so, then will the radiated eggs be any different? Or will we have to use the solar cooking concept to some ...
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3k views

Office Air Conditioning and Open Windows

Today is nice and sunny and the air con is on in the office. It's a fairly large office seating 20 people, 30x30x15ft with 20 small windows and a single large AC unit on the back wall where there are ...
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456 views

Can we make a Maxwell's Demon using Quantum Computers?

Although I'm reasonably sure that quantum computing advances will not lead to the ability to construct a machine that globally violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it feels like a difficult ...
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2k views

design of the heat exchanger…in chimney

I want to design a heat exchanger in a chimney in order to utilize heat from chimney. I have done several experiments, but I could not determine the exact length of tube (carrying water), such that ...
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288 views

If humans were able to catch all sun energy reaching the earth for their use, will the climate change?

I guess that energy will be used up and, at the end, will contribute to heat the earth, so I see no big differences... please explain your point of view.
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328 views

If I put 3 bottles of water next to each other in the fridge, which one is cold first?

I was wondering: If I put three bottles of water next to each other in the fridge, which one is cold first? Does it matter? Is it the one in the middle because it gets refrigerated by the other two? ...
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36 views

Compressibility factor and deviation from ideal gas behaviour

I have recently started to study the deviation of ideal gas behavior. The source from which I am reading doesn't give me an intuitive understanding of the compressibility factor. I dont understand how ...
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55 views

By how much does the temperature of a cool Cola can increase by condensation of the ambient moisture on its surface?

Assuming standard ambient temperature and pressure, how can we estimate the increase in the temperature of a typical, cool beverage can produced by the condensation of ambient moisture on its surface? ...
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67 views

Can an adiabatic, isentropic transformation be irreversible?

My question is very similar to this, but I decided to ask another question because I felt that the problem deserved to be addressed in a more specific and formal way and I also wanted to discuss a ...
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85 views

Why is water not considered a proper liquid in terms of thermometers?

We were just discussing about why liquids in general are used in glass thermometers. I was wondering why water isn't considered a proper liquid. Is it because of the way is expands differently to ...
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60 views

Why does the sign of Delta H indicate whether the reaction is exothermic or endothermic?

If $\Delta H = Q + W$ (assuming constant conditions), then there are two terms involved in calculating $\Delta H$, only one of which measures heat gained/released. It is possible then for $\Delta H$ ...
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57 views

When does the Boltzmann distribution apply?

What are the requirements for a system to be described by the Boltzmann distribution in equilibrium? For example, should all the particles be identical? No attractors in the phase space? ...
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82 views

Intuitive explanation of the shape of the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution

At higher temperatures (for an ideal gas), the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution is spread more widely and has a lower maximum. At lower temperatures, the spread is much more narrow and the peak is much ...
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32 views

What is the word describing the pairs: temperature and energy, chemical potential and particle number?

I keep forgetting the word describing the pairs of coupled quantities in stat. mech. e.g. inverse temperature $\beta$ and internal energy $E$ or chemical potential $\mu$ and particle number $N$. I ...
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83 views

Is it possible to produce higher temperature than the light source with passive device only?

Suppose the light source is a black body with average temperature 2000K, and I want to use it to heat another black body to 2500K, via passive devices only. Here passive device means lens, mirror, ...
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27 views

Black body radiation curiosity

Wich one of the two cases will be more suitable A hotter body for instance candle with its flame with the pic in infrared region of emissivity will emit more microwave radiation or a colder one with ...
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50 views

How to see intuitively that $\kappa_T$ is constant for solids?

In thermodynamics we define $$\kappa_T = -\dfrac{1}{V}\left(\dfrac{\partial V}{\partial p}\right)_T.$$ By this definition, if we are treating $V$ as a function of $p$ and $T$, then $\kappa_T$ is ...
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48 views

Heat and Thermodynamics [duplicate]

What is the temperature of air in the upper part of our atmosphere? I read somewhere that it is of the order of 1000 K, but then, why is it cold there? My question is different from the ...
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91 views

Help me solve a heat conduction/emission transfer problem. Mathematica has failed me

My problem: A thin-walled tube (length $L$, diameter $D$ and wall thickness $t \ll D$) is in a vacuum. It is held on one end (at $x=0$) by a heat source at constant temperature $T(0)=T_0$. The only ...
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100 views

Change in entropy of two isolated systems merged into one system

From Statistical Physics, 2nd Edition by F. Mandl: Two vessels contain the same number $N$ molecules of the same perfect gas. Initially the two vessels are isolated from each other, the gases ...