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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Heat Equation Equalities

While studying the heat equation, I ran into a few equalities that I cannot understand. For example, Fourier's law of heat conduction claims that $$\varphi(x,t)=-K_0\frac{\partial u}{\partial x},$$ ...
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100 views

Where does the heat flow in the Earth's crust switch from primarily solar to geothermal?

Ok, maybe more of a geology question than physics, but maybe somebody has been involved in modeling these heat flows? Essentially I'm asking if we know what sort of depth the heat source becomes ...
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2answers
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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1answer
198 views

Why does the aligning of magnetic dipoles in a material cause its heat capacity to decrease?

This is with regards to adiabatic magnetisation.
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1answer
155 views

can hydrogen stay frozen in vacuum?

I've look into the hydrogen state diagram, and it seems that it can be frozen under pressure. Question: Does this mean that hydrogen cannot be kept frozen in a vacuum chamber?
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277 views

Water, can it break through temperature?

If water is heaten up to ridicilously high temperatures, is it possible for the atoms in the molecules to lose their bonds? And if it is possible, isn't this some kind of chain-reaction? Like you ...
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281 views

Dependance of temperature on color of metals

I asked this question because I supposedly did last year, Stanfor Klein which belongs to the Solar Energy Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin says that "the color of a car does not affect its ...
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1answer
583 views

Physics of the electric hot plate

For an electronics experiment, I began wondering about the electric hot-plates (specifically the temperature dependence over time). If I were to measure the given temperature over time, I assume that ...
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2answers
276 views

Entropy: two explanations for the same quantity?

I studied thermodynamics and I saw the following definition for entropy: $$ \Delta S = \int_1^2 \frac{\text{d}Q}{T} $$ that we use to calculate $\Delta S$ for different types of transformations. In ...
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248 views

relativistic spaceship, CMB radiation and thermodynamics

Scenario: a spaceship is travelling at a high fraction of $c$. The interstellar gas and CMB radiation has blueshifted significantly and we are facing a possible melting of the front radiation shield! ...
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1answer
280 views

Entropy, flow of informations and fundamental theories

In the hierarchy of theories, first comes hamiltonian theory, from which one deduces kinetics theory, and at last thermodynamics and fluid theories. From a kinetics point of view, entropy and ...
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2answers
569 views

Is it Possible to have Adiabatic Processes other than $PV^\gamma$ for the ideal Gas?

Is it possible to represent an adiabatic process for an ideal gas by a formula other than $PV^\gamma=Const$?: Relevant Considerations: We always need to connect a pair of arbitrary points/states ...
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2k views

Calculating time to heat cold water in bowl of hot water

How would I calculate the time it takes to heat a given volume of water to a given temperature with a given temperature T1 when it is submerged in a volume of water with a temperature T2 Estimation ...
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162 views

Do processes $P\propto\frac{1}{V^2}$, $P\propto\frac{1}{V^3}$, $P\propto\frac{1}{V^4}$, etc., exist in the real world?

Is there any real process in which $PV^n=C$ where $P,V$ stands for pressure, volume respectively. $C$ is a constant and $n$ is a positive integer? I am familiar with Boyle's law that states that ...
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2answers
358 views

Hawking radiation and black hole entropy

Is black hole entropy, computed by means of quantum field theory on curved spacetime, the entropy of matter degrees of freedom i.e. non-gravitational dofs? What is one actually counting?
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333 views

What if microstates increase proportional to universe volume? [closed]

I am probably a delusional crank with a lot of crazy, overly speculative conjectures. If I am not delusional, than at the very least I've been ahead of the curve, the last 40 or so years. I was a ...
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3answers
2k views

How can there be heat in a vacuum?

I keep reading in the Physics World focus issue on vacuum technology about scientists creating high temperatures in the vacuums etc. If heat is caused by thermal energy being radiated from particles ...
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4answers
2k views

Why the breath sometimes warm and sometimes cold? (2 different explanations!)

If you blow air against your hand with your mouth open, you feel warm breath. If you do with with your lips closed except for a small opening, you feel cold breath. One explanation from here says ...
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130 views

Evolution of Gibbs energy change of reaction with temperature

The Gibbs energy change of reaction is given by $$\Delta G^0_{rx}=\Delta H^0_{rx}-T\Delta S^0_{rx}$$ From the look of it seems the direction of variation of equlibrium with $T$ is given by the sign ...
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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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2answers
404 views

Why water will stay on a piece of toilet paper?

I think everyone has tried to blow air (breath) on toilet papers. The papers will get wet. I believe the holes diameters on a toilet paper should be much larger than diameters of water molecules. (The ...
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1answer
829 views

Carnot efficiency, coefficient of performance for a refrigerator

I was reading that a new type of refrigerator might reach a coefficient of performance (COP) of 10. This seems quite the achievement and the authors state that their approach might achieve a Carnot ...
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3answers
949 views

Is temperature an extensive property, like density?

I was thinking about it some time ago, and now that I've discovered this site I would like to ask it here because I couldn't work it out then. I know that the higher temperature the air in my room ...
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1answer
91 views

Is Joule heating only between charged particles?

The Wikipedia page for Joule heating explains "It is now known that Joule heating is caused by interactions between the moving particles that form the current (usually, but not always, electrons) and ...
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4answers
673 views

Shock speed in air/vacuum shock tube

Some of you are probably aware of What If, xkcd's blog about interesting physics problems. One episode, Glass Half Empty, concerns itself with what would happen if a glass of water is half water, ...
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2answers
343 views

Problems in the modern semiconductor/electronics technology?

From what I have read, the problem with modern semiconductors/electronics seems to be quantum tunnelling and heat. The root of these problems is the size of the devices. The electrons are leaking out, ...
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452 views

Time to establish saturated vapour pressure above liquid

Thought experiment - a liquid is in a closed container in equilibrium with its vapour, and then suddenly all the vapour is pumped away. Switch off the pump so that instantaneosuly there is no vapour ...
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2answers
343 views

Convergance of a system to Boltzmann distribution

Consider a system with finite-dimension state X and energy E(X), with dynamics which follow the Langevin equation $\frac{dX}{dt}=-\nabla_X{E(X)}+\eta(t)$ where $\eta$ is white noise ...
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149 views

How can a strong water current be cold

This is a layman question. If heat is the motion of atoms, how can a fast moving water current be cold?
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375 views

Multi-component mixture phase equilibrium criteria

For a pure species, the equlibrium between liquid phase and vapour phase is given by the equality of molar Gibbs energy in both phase: $$\underline{G}^l=\underline{G}^v$$ Where $\underline{G}$ with ...
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150 views

direct conversion of heat to electric potential / current - are there theories that contradict the 'Kelvin Statement'?

In particular, William Thomson (Kelvin) appeared to be wrong about key things in physics (initially X-rays, aether, even aviation feasibility). ...
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7answers
1k views

How is $\frac{dQ}{T}$ measure of randomness of system?

I am studying entropy and its hard for me to catch up what exactly is entropy. Many articles and books write that entropy is the measure of randomness or disorder of the system. They say when a gas ...
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0answers
105 views

experiment proposal to validate microcausality

I've been wondering about microcausality for some time now (a recent question of mine regarding the topic) and i'm wondering if its possible to devise an experiment to detect potential violations I ...
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2answers
497 views

Demonstrate magnets adhere to conservation of energy pursuant to the laws of thermodynamics

I am looking for a way to demonstrate that magnets adhere to the laws of thermodynamics, in particular the requirement that energy in a closed system be conserved. To adhere to the requirement that ...
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5k views

Why does burning magnesium explode when sprinkled with water?

Magnesium powder burns extremely well and reaches temperatures of 2500°C. However, attempts to extinguish such a magnesium fire with conventional water (e.g. from a garden hose) only make it worse: ...
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1k views

Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Arrow of Time: Why isn't time considered fundamental?

I've come across this explanation that the "arrow of time" is a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics, which says that the entropy of an isolated system is always increasing. The argument is ...
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978 views

What is the status of Mpemba effect investigations?

There is this puzzling thing that is called Mpemba effect: paradoxically, warm (35°C) water freezes faster than cold (5°C) water. As a physisist, I've been asked about it several times already. And I ...
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Is it theoretically possible to reach 0 kelvin?

I'm having a discussion with someone. I said that it is -even theoretically- impossible to reach 0K, because that would imply that all molecules in the substance would stand perfectly still. He said ...
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Why does thermal resistance go down as temperature goes up?

Here is the thermal resistance data for three speaker coils disengaged from the speaker cone. Any ideas? I would think it would be a horizontal line. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_resistance ...
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134 views

Where is the critical moment where the microcanonical ensemble enters the justification for the equilibium state?

As explained in many books, for the microscopic justification of the second law of thermodynamics (lets formulate it as the total entropy takes maximum among all possible exchanges of two systems), ...
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1answer
235 views

Why is the crust of my meat pie only slightly warm?

I just cooked a meat pie in the oven. Almost immediately after pulling it out of the oven, I felt that the crust was only slightly warm, but when I cut it open the filling felt very warm. I can't ...
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275 views

Is energy extensivity necessary in thermodynamics?

Given a partition of a system into two smaller systems, the energy $U$ is devided into $U_1$ and $U_2$, with $$U=\mathcal{P}(U_1,U_2):=U_1+U_2,$$ so that $U_2$ is given by $U-U_1$. Here the ...
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2answers
2k views

Constant Volume vs. Constant Pressure?

Approaching the following question: Consider two experiments in which 2 moles of a monatomic ideal gas are heated from temperature $T$ to temperature $T + \Delta T$: in the first experiment ...
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2answers
485 views

Is temperature quantized?

I'm learning quantum mechanics on my own. I've known that energy is quantized and I've started wondering about temperature. From thermodynamics we have: $$U=\frac{3}{2}NkT $$ (for ideal gas, of ...
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1answer
198 views

Double internal energy, how much will the entropy change?

Approaching the following question Imagine we have a collection of $N = 100$ simple harmonic oscillators. The total internal energy is $U = q \epsilon$ where $q$ is the number of energy ...
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1answer
67 views

What is $k_B$ in the context of this question?

Answering the following question 1000 atoms are in equilibrium at temperature T. Each atom has two energy states, $E_1$ and $E_2$, where $E_2 > E_1$ . On average, there are 200 atoms in the ...
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7answers
2k views

Introduction to differential forms in thermodynamics

I've studied differential geometry just enough to be confident with differential forms. Now I want to see application of this formalism in thermodynamics. I'm looking for a small reference, to learn ...
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2answers
440 views

Question about entropy and “smart materials” (that remember shape)

We all know that entropy is the measure of chaos in the system, and it's always increasing in the system. Now comes my question - how does entropy work in smart materials? Here is a youtube video ...
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186 views

Does the molten salt used at projects such as Gemasolar need to be replaced after some cycles?

The project at Gemasolar uses molten salt to store heat. This heat is then used with water to drive steam turbines. Over time does this kind of repeated heat/cold cycle make the molten salt a less ...
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204 views

Temperature and latent heat

Building a bronze stature we make a mold and pour in the liquid bronze when the bronze hardens we remove the mold. The mold is made of 3 Kg of steel and the statue has a mas of 1 Kg. The specific ...