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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335 views

Can the laws of classical mechanics be derived from quantum mechanics? [duplicate]

Can classical mechanics be derived from quantum mechanics as the same way thermodynamics derived from statistical mechanics?
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5answers
592 views

If I replace all my lights with LEDs will my heating costs increase?

A number of nations are passing bills to phase out incandescent light bulbs. The thinking is that the tungsten filament is an inefficient method of turning electricity into light, the rest of the ...
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0answers
136 views

Rotary Steam Engine

Leon Crux invented the concept of interlocking archimedes spirals that eventually led to the scroll compressor but intended it to be used as a rotary steam engine. However technological limitations of ...
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0answers
71 views

What is the relationship between strain and electric current?

Strain or stress can be caused by different sources. I categorized theses sources as mechanical, thermal and electrical loads and formulated the total stress as follows: $$ \epsilon_{total} = ...
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1answer
166 views

Confusion in fourier's law

My book starts section 2.2 like this: Equation 1.1 is this: $$q_x=-k\frac {\partial T}{\partial x}$$ As you can see in the picture I posted, my book says that one can go from equation 1.1 to ...
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77 views

Where does the relation $u=h_f-RT+(c_p-R)(T-T_0)$ come from?

I'm working on a college project for a subject called Motorcycle Engineering, and in this project I'm supposed to do some reverse engineering on a MATLAB program to model the engine of the motorcycle. ...
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1answer
524 views

Measuring temperature at a distance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKYrXHZwtPw In this video it is explained that Land Skin Temperature (LST) are measured by NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites. It seems it works by collecting the ...
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2answers
497 views

Heating coffee by yelling?

Is it a myth that yelling to a coffee mug will heat it? I have been hearing my friend saying that screaming will heat coffee or water.
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2answers
393 views

Entropy of a naked singularity

According to the wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naked_singularity: "Some research has suggested that if loop quantum gravity is correct, then naked singularities could exist in nature, ...
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1answer
103 views

energy efficiency, transformation from chemical to thermal energy, for district heating plants

If I have a system in which I introduce 100e.u.F (energy units) derived from chemical energy (i.e. fuel) and generate thermal energy to heat water what are e.u. absorbed by water? I.e. the efficiency ...
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1answer
2k views

Opening the fridge door to cool a room

I'm well aware that the default answer to this textbook default question is "it doesn't work", but still, I believe it does. To cool the insides of the fridge, the compressor must do work, and since ...
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6answers
1k views

What's the best strategy to fully fill the fridge with beer bottles and have them all cooled?

I'm having a party. Suppose I'd like to have a fridge full of cold ($6~^\circ\text{C}$ or below) beer bottles, in as short a time frame as possible. The fridge indicates that it is targeting (and ...
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1answer
806 views

Is the convective heat coefficient always dependent on heat flux and delta T?

I'm having a difficult discussion with a colleague because I'm running heat flow simulations for a small heater (5 mm^2 area), and I insist that if we're going to run more electrical power through the ...
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1answer
329 views

Can't understand a thing about emissivity concept

I can't understand something about emissivity. Emissivity is defined as the ratio of the radiant energy of an object, to radiant energy of blackbody at a temperature $T$. So, The vegetation has ...
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3answers
983 views

Why the free energy is called 'free'?

The free energy, $F$ of a thermodynamic system at a given temperature $T$, is defined as, \begin{equation} e^{-\beta F} = \mathcal{Z} = \sum_{\{configuration\}} e^{-\beta E(configuration) } ...
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2answers
897 views

Would a small puddle of water evaporate faster if you spread a dry towel over it?

Let's say you spill 10ml of water on the kitchen counter. It forms a small puddle that would evaporate after a while (assuming room temperature and sane humidity). Would spreading a large, dry towel ...
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1answer
288 views

Isentropic vs Total pressure

I am confused between these two quantities: Isentropic pressure and Total pressure. Are they the same?
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2answers
208 views

Combined gas law in an open atmosphere

The question was asked about pressure vs. Volume increasing in an ideal gas as temperature is increased. My question then is this. What is the formula to determine how much volume and pressure will ...
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0answers
169 views

How to obtain the free energy of the canonical ensemble in Euclidean general relativity?

If the gravitational field couples with matter fields, such as a charged scalar field, I know the partition function of the grand canonical ensemble naturally relates to the path-integral expression ...
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2answers
6k views

In an ideal gas, if temperature increases, will pressure or volume increase?

This question came up when I was talking about the atmosphere. Someone had mistakenly claimed that as temperature increases, the density of the atmosphere should increase as well. I reasoned from the ...
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1answer
930 views

Energy provided to piston in compression and exhaust stroke?

In the compression stroke of a petrol engine, the mixture is compressed by the upward movement of the piston. From where does the piston get energy to compress the mixture? Similarly, in the exhaust ...
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3answers
38k 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
514 views

Difference between a quantum process and a thermal process?

I was reading an article online pertaining to quantum mechanics and I stumbled across these few sentences. A look at the corresponding energy regimes shows (Beck and Eccles 1992) that quantum ...
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3answers
952 views

Cooling down a container in outer space

If I have two containers filled with very hot water(~210F) with one in outer space and one on earth, which one has a higher rate of cooling initially? Imagine the containers are single wall metal ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do moving particles emit thermal radiation?

While answering another question about heat in an atom, the discussion in the comments led to the question of how heat is related to thermal radiation picked up by infrared cameras. The answer is that ...
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1answer
174 views

What cause scientists to study Black Body Radiation?

After spending hours understanding what exactly Black Body radiation and Ultraviolet catastrophe is, I cannot help myself asking what was the reason that make scientists such as Wilhelm Wien and Max ...
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1answer
364 views

How to heat swimming pool with physics principles [closed]

I'd like to apply physics principles to a home-experiment relating to my swimming pool. The water should flow inner to 100 meters of black pipe and so it should become warm. Then it should return in ...
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0answers
32 views

Decompression cooler

How would I figure the needed pressure differential to freeze water inside a cooler using ambient air? I am assuming that the combined gas law would apply here and that the formula P1•V1/T1=P2•V2/T2 ...
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1answer
245 views

“Quantum version” of Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution

Is there a "quantum mechanical version" of the classical Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution for monatomic ideal gases? I'm quite new to thermodynamics, but I just wanted to know. If there is such a ...
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1answer
3k views

What is heat and how does it effect an atom?

What happens in the atom when it gets heated or cooled and turns into gas, liquid or solid? I just want to know how does heat affect an atom.
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1answer
820 views

Dielectric with polar molecules

Suppose a dielectric slab contains polar molecules (which are not further polarisable). When placed in an electric field, (for simplicity, an uniform field), align themselves according to the field. ...
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0answers
99 views

Compressibility and specific heat: interconnectedness and independence?

Consider a Mott insulator (insulator arising from strong correlations). This is an incompressible phase i.e. it costs energy to add a single particle to it; the ease of compression (compressibility) ...
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1answer
273 views

Temperature of rod if end points are different temperature [closed]

How does the temperature vary along the length of the rod if its both ends are at different temperature. As an example, consider the problem: 20 cm long rod has rod at one end 100 ºC and another ...
2
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1answer
120 views

What are the state functions telling me or how are they related to total energy?

I am quite new to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics so this might be an easy question: In thermodynamics you get a bunch of thermodynamics potentials, so as for example enthalpy, internal ...
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4answers
23k views

On a hot day, when it's cooler outside than in; is it better to put a fan in an open window pointing inwards or outwards?

If it's really hot inside, but cooler outside; what is the best way to place a single fan to try and cool a room down? I always assumed it would be better pointing inwards (and this thread suggests ...
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1answer
545 views

What is a chemical potential good for?

I read that the definition of the chemical potential is, that it is the partial derivative of the Free energy with respect to the number of particles, $$\mu=\frac{\partial F}{\partial N}.$$ ...
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0answers
94 views

Biological Themodynamics - What does an endpoint saturated signal mean. How does it relate to equillibrium constant

I have had a question that has been bugging me for a couple of years in my graduate school career, and I was wondering if perhaps some physicist could help explain it to me. Given an endpoint assay ...
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2answers
321 views

In a large city how much hotter on average is it outside due to the air conditioning of all the buildings?

Title pretty much states the question. How much hotter do air conditioning units make it outside in a large city like NYC, Chicago, etc?
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1answer
210 views

How can I determine (measure?) if spraying my A/C condenser with water will make it operate more efficiently?

My brother had an idea for a DIY project and I am curious if the science works out well enough to try it. The idea is to collect rainwater then mist it onto the air conditioners condenser coils (the ...
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1answer
81 views

why does air temperature change with density?

As hot air in the atmosphere rises it expands and cools at the same time. If the air cools though, shouldn't its density increase?
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5answers
9k views

Why does wet skin sunburn faster?

There is a popular belief that wet skin burns or tans faster. However, I've never heard a believable explanation of why this happens. The best explanation I've heard is that the water droplets on the ...
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1answer
289 views

How to derive a physical model of temperature above the earth surface?

At a point on the surface of the Earth, if I go straight "up" a distance $z$ (radially outward from the Earth), I'd observe a temperature profile $T(z)$. The conventional wisdom from the meteorology ...
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2answers
307 views

scaling of motor power

For car engines, the cylinder volume is often associated with the engine power, which suggests scaling of the power as $L^3$ where L is the linear size. Consider a system consisting of a motor and its ...
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0answers
64 views

Can I run a pulse tube cooler in reverse to generate pressure oscillations?

Since a pulse tube cooler is basically a Stirling engine without moving parts running "in reverse", does that imply that when I keep the cold end at ambient temperature and apply heat to the hot end, ...
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1answer
174 views

Dimensional analysis of magnetic energy: dimensions of µ0 and H

When calculating the energy difference between the normal and the superconducting state in a superconductor at zero magnetic field, the result is as follows: Now I'm quite confident of this result, ...
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1answer
301 views

How do ice spikes form?

I recently saw this picture posted on Twitter which shows a so-called ice spike rising from an ice cube tray. I have read the Wikipedia page, but it doesn't mean much to me. My instinct was that it ...
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1answer
113 views

Would a super-hot object launch itself into the air?

In this XKCD What If, an indestructible hairdryer outputs 2 GW of power, turning the earth under it into gas: Periodic explosions of gas beneath the box launch it into the air, and it starts fires ...
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3answers
236 views

How “things” radiate electromagnetic radiation? [closed]

How things radiate electromagnetic radiation? I don't ask why they radiate (higher temperature than 0K) but how they radiate this electromagnetic waves?
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1answer
295 views

Is a tankless water heater more or less efficient than an electric stove at heating water?

Consider the following scenario that I actually encounter frequently: I just finished washing a pot in the sink, and now I want to boil some water for cooking noodles. If I fill the pot with hot ...
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1answer
525 views

Understanding Charles's Law

Charles's law states that, The volume of a given mass of an ideal gas is directly proportional to its temperature on the absolute temperature scale (in Kelvin) if pressure and the amount of gas ...