Covers the study of (mostly homogeneous) macroscopic systems from a heat/energy/entropy point of view. Maybe combine with [tag:statistical-mechanics].

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

10
votes
5answers
34k views

Which direction does air flow?

I remember learning this in high school, but have forgotten it, and can't seem to find it anywhere online. Air travels from areas of high pressure to low pressure...correct? So if I have a cold room ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Why was the universe in a extraordinarily low-entropy state right after the big bang?

Let me start by saying that I have no scientific background whatsoever. I am very interested in science though and I'm currently enjoying Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos. I'm at chapter 7 and ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Differentiating the ideal gas law

In reading Fermi's Thermodynamics, to show that $C_p = C_v + R$, the author differentiates the ideal gas law for a mole of gas ($PV = RT$) to obtain: $PdV + VdP = RdT$. Now, the only way I am able to ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to understand temperatures of different degrees of freedom?

So I'm reading this book, where after the preface and before the models there is a section called General Notions and Essential Quantities, which introduce some things I don't understand. They regard ...
1
vote
1answer
597 views

Watercooling performance and amount of water or liquid in the loop

Imagine a watercooling system. It consist of a reservoir, pump, tubes and a radiator. We all know how it works. My question is, only inreasing the reservoir's volum, say from 1 liter to 2, will ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Could a sleeping bag be warmer if you are naked inside?

I have heard conflicting theories about the best way to keep warm in a sleeping bag in the winter. Some people say you should bundle up in your sleeping bag and another theory says that you should be ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Does opening the oven door heat the house more than if the door is closed?

In the winter I am in the habit of opening my oven door once I am done baking so that I can add the heat to the house. However I recently thought about it and it would seem that even if the door is ...
1
vote
1answer
465 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Difference between Clausius-Clapeyron and Van't Hoff equation

I was wondering what is the difference between the Clausius-Clapeyron equation and the Van't Hoff equation. They appear to have the exact same physical meaning and are often used interchangeably.
5
votes
2answers
527 views

Does heat from gravitational pressure dissipate eventually?

It's my understanding that Earth's core is hot and molten because of the high pressure from gravity compressing the planet's mass towards the center. How does this heat reconcile with thermodynamics, ...
9
votes
4answers
300 views

Is “equilibrium state” equivalent to “well-defined state variables”?

Follow up to Intuitively, why is a reversible process one in which the system is always at equilibrium? and How slow is a reversible adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas? Suppose you have a ...
2
votes
2answers
11k views

Why does a gas get hot when suddenly compressed? What is happening at the molecular level?

My guess is that the molecules of gas all have the same speed as before, but now there are much more collisions per unit area onto the thermometer, thus making the thermometer read a higher ...
4
votes
3answers
849 views

Second law of thermodynamics and a bunch of magnets

Say I put a bunch of powerful square magnets on a nearly frictionless table in a disordered fashion. The second law of thermodynamics states that the system shall spontaneously get more disordered, ...
1
vote
2answers
183 views

How does cooling scale with volume?

What equation would give me the answer to the question, "If i have a cup of water at a tempature of say boiling, how long would that cup of water take to cool off compared to say half that size of a ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

Why is air a poor conductor of heat?

Today, I was reading an article How Thermoses Work It goes on to explain all three processes of heat transfer: Conduction Radiation Convection In Convection, It states, If it weren't for ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Understanding the Seebeck effect

Thermoelectricity is, as I understand it, the difference in voltage between the hot and cold ends of two dissimilar materials. If two materials are connected at two different junctions, the hot ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

how much heat i need to reach constant temperature

Is there an equation I can use to calculate the heat required (as a function of time) to sustain water at some specif temperature? I already know how much heat I need to reach the desired temparature ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Does stirring water in a bucket in whirlpool keeps it warm?

I did an experiment when I was a teenager. I want to prove/see what really went on in that experiment. When taking a bath, take a warm water in bucket and start taking a bath. You will notice that ...
0
votes
3answers
349 views

Has anyone theorized a connection between entropy and quantum uncertainty?

I apologize if this kind of idle theorizing is frowned upon here, but I was wondering if it is possible that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is a consequence of quantum uncertainty. I've heard ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Testing the temperature of an open flame

How, and what device do you need, to obtain the exact temperature of an open flame? For the purpose of this question, you wanted to maintain 375 degrees. You can control the flame, but have no idea ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

What is the molecular model of heat of mixing?

Heat can be evolved or absorbed when two dissimilar liquids are mixed together at constant temperature and pressure. This is called the heat of mixing of the mixture. I'm trying to understand the ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

How many times brighter could the stars shine without raising the temperature of space?

If my understanding is correct, the temperature of space (as defined by the temperature that a black-body will reach) has been decreasing since the big bang. It has never increased. Additionally, ...
1
vote
2answers
634 views

Does the global financial system violate laws of thermodynamics and energy conservation? [closed]

For the past years I am thinking about relating concepts from physics to concepts from economics. Especially since the financial crisis made obvious the instability of the financial system I ask ...
0
votes
0answers
141 views

2 streams going into an engine and 2 come out. Find the enthalpy?

Problem: Steam supply to an engine is made of two streams that mix before entering the engine. Stream 1 flows at a $.01\frac{kg}{s}$ with an enthalpy of $2952\frac{kJ}{kg}$ and a velocity of ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning of what C. P. Snow said about the laws of thermodynamics [closed]

My native language is not English and I am having hard time understanding the meaning of the following statements which are to explain the laws of thermodynamics. The 1st law: you cannot win ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

What type of substances allows the use of the Ideal Gas Law?

I know that I can use the ideal gas law with pure gases or pure liquids. But can I also use the ideal gas law at saturated gases and saturated liquids as long as they aren't two phase substances?
0
votes
1answer
1k views

What happens to temperature when pressure is constant in a cylindrical piston of saturated liquid ammonia?

Let's say I have a cylindrical piston containing saturated liquid ammonia that is fitted with an electrical heater and a paddle wheel for stirring at an initial pressure and an initial temperature. ...
3
votes
0answers
585 views

How do I determine the Internal Energy of ammonia at a pressure in temperature when the steam table doesn't say it

I just bought a steam table for my thermodynamics class since they don't allow use to use the one from the book for the tests. This one is different from the one in my textbook as it doesn't give the ...
1
vote
0answers
616 views

Do the properties of two streams flowing into an engine add together when they mix?

Let's say I have two stream supplys that have separate mass flow rates, enthalpies, and velocities that flow into an engine. Upstream of the engine's inlet, the two streams mix to form one stream that ...
0
votes
1answer
185 views

Does a water cooker element have to be 100C to get water to cook?

I understand that a water heater element is basically just adding energy to the mass of water in the container. So does that mean that the heater element only has to keep adding energy while the water ...
0
votes
2answers
868 views

Does power from a resistor perform work or heat transfer?

Let's say I have a cylindrical piston filled with air and fitted with an electrical resistor. The resistor has a current going across it and a voltage for a certain amount of time. My system would be ...
2
votes
1answer
381 views

Thermodynamic System: Windmill

There is a closed system that is just a windmill attached to a rotating shaft that can mechanically power something. I know the system produces work on the surroundings from the rotating shaft and ...
3
votes
0answers
255 views

Does a thermally expanding torus experience internal stress?

I'm trying to learn continuum mechanics and thermo-mechanics. As we know, heating an object increases the mean atomic distance $a_0$ of the atoms in a rigid body. Let's assume it is a linear elastic ...
3
votes
1answer
818 views

Calculating the heat capacity of a system

I have started reading Statistical Physics by F. Mandl and I would appreciate some help with the following exercise A system consists of $N$ weakly interacting subsystems. Each subsystem possesses ...
6
votes
1answer
915 views

Why does blowing on someone who is wet feel colder than on someone who is dry?

The title says it all. If I'm standing in the wind and I'm wet, I feel much colder than when I'm dry. This is true no matter how warm or cold the water. Why is this?
8
votes
1answer
115 views

Finding two dimensional critical point

I'm reading an article about bi layered membranes which state that for the free energy function $f(\theta) = \theta \ln \theta + (1-\theta)\ln(1-\theta) + \chi \theta (1-\theta)$ Where $\phi_i$ is ...
7
votes
1answer
306 views

Melting point, is it determined only experimentally?

I am interested in the underlying physics of the concept of a melting point, a temperature at which an object tends to gain enough energy to break the bonds that hold it together and be in a liquid ...
2
votes
2answers
374 views

why egg cooks slowly in mountains?

A quick Google tells me "Because water boils at a lower temperature at high altitudes". But I am not being able to understand this answer and fill-in the gap. Like, how does an egg cook in the first ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

How do we perceive hotness or coldness of an object?

Some objects, especially metallic ones, feel cold on touching and others like wood, etc. feel warm on touching. Both are exposed to same environment and are in their stable state, so some kind of ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How does liquid convert to gas on getting thermal heat energy?

Say for example, when we heat, water converts to steam gas. How does it happen? What happens underneath giving rise to breaking of bond between molecules in liquid state and spreading them in gas ...
2
votes
1answer
191 views

Does thermodynamic processess affect phase transition in solid state metals

I read an article about phase transitions and I read about thermodynamic processes such as Adiabatic process, Isochoric process, Isobaric process, Isothermal process Do these processes affect phase ...
8
votes
4answers
10k views

Are specific heat and thermal conductivity related?

Are there any logical relationship between specific heat capacity and thermal conductivity ? I was wondering about this when I was reading an article on whether to choose cast iron or aluminium ...
4
votes
2answers
166 views

Optical element is heated by laser: is it possible to get oscillating heat distribution?

Imagine that we have thin optical element, which is irradiated by laser. Laser heats element, so there is some heat distribution in element. There is a heat sink through upper and lower element faces ...
3
votes
3answers
538 views

Will the water added to an ice piece freeze?

Water, at room temperature is poured into a hole made of a block of melting ice(kept at room temperature).I was wondering if the water will ever freeze? Thank you.
1
vote
1answer
207 views

Depalma Free Energy fields

Few years ago I read some papers about Free Energy, written by Bruce de Palma, a physicist who is said to be the inventor of the N-Machine, which is an device that works with free energy latent in the ...
3
votes
5answers
317 views

Is the cooling rate of a (very) cold object, sitting next to an AC higher or lower?

In more detail: If i have two soda cans, both are cooled to exactly 4 degrees celsius, And i put one in a 25 degrees room, and the other next to an AC vent set to 16 degrees. After three minutes, ...
4
votes
1answer
202 views

Can i use coils with compressed air to make a superconductor?

What im saying is inside pipes i am going to use compressing so that that in the places with low pressure they cool the superconducotor. is this possible? Can i use this concept to make ...
1
vote
3answers
432 views

Problem with an electricity / thermodynamics assignment

I've been trying to figure this one out for a while on my own, so I'd like to ask for your help if you could offer some. The task states: A heater made out of a wire with a diameter $R = ...
-3
votes
3answers
378 views

Is the continuous transformation of energy from one form to another one free? Or it consumes some quantity of who knows what?

Sorry for the unclarity. I probably created some bias in your mind having tagged my question with energy-conservation and conservation-laws. I simply consider that, relatively independently of ...
2
votes
0answers
2k views

What are typical values of the critical thickness of insulation?

As most people who've had any elementary heat transfer course are aware, when insulating a pipe, wire, etc, there is a critical thickness for the insulation below which it causes greater heat transfer ...