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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What if the earth's core goes cold?

What effects would occur if the earth's core goes cold? Would the planet stay liveable after this happens?
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Formulae for Heat Change and Internal Energy Change in a Thermodynamic Process

Today, we were being given a lesson on Thermodynamics when my brain encountered an error. It is easy to derive that, $\Delta U$, the internal energy change for constant volume process is given by, $$ ...
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Energy equation for an open system

I teach undergraduate thermodynamics and I was quite ashamed that I couldn't explain to a student, the following. I thought I'd bring it to physics.SE in hope of providing my student a good ...
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Can low temperature plasma exist?

Plasma is ionized gas which as far as I know only occurs at high temperatures. When plasma cools down it tends to recombine with the electrons present and turn back into gas. But what if the ...
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160 views

Is it possible to condense heat?

Suppose that I have a warm room. Is it possible to condense the heat of the room into a small object so that the room turns cold and the small object very hot? If it's possible: How? If it's not: ...
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123 views

Will humid air mitigate airborn dust due to neutralization of static electricity?

I have came to understand that humid air will help prevent electrostatic forces that can propel dust and cause it to cling to surfaces. My first question: is this above statement true? If the answer ...
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100 views

What controls the heating ability of steamers?

Pictured below is a standalone steamer used for foaming and heating milk for milk-based coffee drinks like cappuccinos and lattes. They can be filled with water up to the pressure relief incorporated ...
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918 views

Why is there a Global Minimum for the Morse Potential?

For Diatomic molecules, the Morse potential describes their potential energy as a function of separation distance between the two particles. My question is, what is the explanation of of the dip ...
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332 views

Unclear how heat interacts with Navier Stokes

I am playing around with an Navier stokes solver and I'm having trouble introducing heat. Am I right in thinking this would be introduced in the ${\bf f}$ term of ${\partial{\bf u}\over\partial t} = ...
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12k views

Rubber band stretched produces heat and when released absorbs heat.. Why?

I always used to wonder why this happens.. when one stretches a rubberband to nearly it snapping point holding it close to your skin - preferably cheek(helps feel the heat), it emits heat. While ...
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3k views

Why doe we not get a shock on induction cooker?

In induction cooking, eddy currents in cook-pot cause heat to be produced. But why do we not get a shock? Also, why is it that current is converted to heat while it has a good conductor(say, steel) ...
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475 views

Thermo homework (HW) problem

I do not believe this question can be solved with the thermodynamics knowledge that I have learned thus far, but someone correct me if I am wrong: A 0.2-m³ tank containing helium at 15 bar and ...
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204 views

How can dQ/T be interpreted as a system's level of disorder?

Long before statistical mechanics, entropy was introduced as: $dS = \frac{dQ}{T}$ At the time when entropy was introduced in this manner, was it known that entropy represents how "disordered" a ...
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139 views

What happens to the time it takes for my noodles to cook, and the temperature of the boiling water?

I have a boiling pot of water that I am going to cook my Sponge Bob Noodles in. I am very hungry and want the noodles to cook faster, so I turn up the heat from medium to high.( Note, the water was ...
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2k views

Adiabatic expansion of steam through a valve

I'm working on a homework problem, and I have a suspicion the textbook is trying to trick me. The question is: "Steam at 20 bar and 300 C is to be continuously expanded to 1 bar. Compute the ...
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1answer
161 views

Dynamic structure factor

Dynamic structure factor is the spatial and temporal Fourier transform of Van Hoves time dependent pair correlation function. It is written as $$ S(k,\omega)= \frac{1}{2\pi}\int F(k,t)\exp(i\omega ...
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53 views

Height of a piston in a heated cylinder containing H2O

I'm a first time user and I hope I won't be too enigmatic asking the following question: I have a cylinder (radius= $6$ $\text{cm}$) with a frictionless piston on top of it and inside $30$ $g$ of ...
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93 views

Several questions about spring chiller and LMTD

I'm designing a simple copper coil wort chiller. Digging formulas I'm having hard time to figure some things out, perhaps some simple guides may help me to go the right direction: LMTD need inlet ...
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Historic derivation of Wien's law

Every book I've read, including a lot of websites, Wikipedia, etc, say that Wien derived this: $$\rho_\nu(T)=\rho(\nu,T)=\nu^3f\left(\frac{\nu}{T}\right)$$ Being $\rho_v(T)$ the spectral enegy ...
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Calculation of number density from material density

Material density is given by $ \rho =m/V$, where $m$ is mass and $V$ is volume. Again number density given by $n=N/V$, where $N$ is the total number of particle. How can I calculate number density $n$ ...
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488 views

Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity PDF to CDF [closed]

I asked on Math.SE and was advised to try here instead. I need to draw from a Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution to initialise a molecular dynamics simulation. I have the PDF but I'm having ...
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1answer
264 views

What's the underlying particle physics of endothermic reactions?

I don't just mean reactions that require heat to proceed, storing surplus energy in chemical bonds. I wonder about strongly endothermic reactions that suck heat out of environment. You take some ...
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4k views

Plotting the maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution in matlab

I'm trying to plot a maxwell-boltzman velocity distribution in matlab. I have also asked this question at cross validated without much luck The PDF is f(v)=sqrt(m/2*pi*k*T) * exp(-m*v^2/2*k*T) ...
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392 views

What would result in a transformer that has its secondary wires disconnected from any circuit?

I am studying magnetism and I am curious as to what happens in a transformer that has its secondary output wires connected through a circuit versus one that doesn't. My main questions (in the case of ...
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345 views

relation between first law of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics definition of entropy

From the definition of entropy as $S= - Tr (\rho\, ln \rho)$ one obtains that $S = \frac{\langle E \rangle}{T} + \log Z.$ The first law of thermodynamics has $dS = {dE \over T}$. Why is there no ...
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191 views

Does the Kelvin have a rigorous definition?

From Wikipedia: The kelvin is defined as the fraction 1⁄273.16 of the thermodynamic temperature of the triple point of water. That presupposes that we can take a fraction of temperature. Now, ...
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341 views

At what depth in the water atmospheric pressure is 100 times greater than on the ground?

At what depth in the water atmospheric pressure is 100 times greater than on the ground? This question comes from the fact that average pressure in Earth( 1000 mbar) is 100 times greater than in ...
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773 views

What's the basic difference between heat and temperature?

Temperature is usually seen as a calibrated representation of heat but what about latent heat? Eg. Ice and water have different amounts of heat at 0 degree c.
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221 views

The physical laws of thermodynamics tell us that electrical impulses must produce heat?

Health - Controversial New Idea: Nerves Transmit Sound, Not Electricity - By Robert Roy Britt, LiveScience Managing Editor posted: 14 March, 2007 1:00 pm ET Rendering shows a biological membrane ...
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532 views

Room temperature and fan orientation [duplicate]

So I'm in a tiny dorm room and I normally point my fan blowing outside the window to cool my room off. I've been in some debates on blowing air out or in is more effective, so I'm hoping to get some ...
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330 views

Ideal gas temperature and pressure gradients?

Consider an ideal gas in a $d\times d\times L$ box with the $L$ dimension in the $x$-direction. Suppose that the opposite $d\times d$ sides of the box are held at temperatures $T_1$ and $T_2$ with ...
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689 views

Why is (von Neumann) entropy maximized for an ensemble in thermal equilibrium?

Consider a quantum system in thermal equilibrium with a heat bath. In determining the density operator of the system, the usual procedure is to maximize the von Neumann entropy subject to the ...
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602 views

Temperature Vs. Volume of Water

Here and here it states that water is at its highest density around $4^\circ$ Celsius. I know very little physics and a Google search has left me without an answer. I am teaching an ODE class in the ...
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793 views

Best way to move teaspoon to dissolve sugar in a cup of tea

I know that there is asked questions about something like cooling down cope of coffee..etc, but this one is little different. My friend was watching TV program of English eating etiquette, and they ...
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2answers
415 views

Entropy exchange of a free fall

I have a problem in which the tell me that you drop a bag of 50 kg of sand from 10 meters high, and you have to caltulate the entropy difference of the sand, asuming that the speific heat of the sand ...
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454 views

How can one say that if we subtract “TS” from “U” then what we get is free energy?

In thermodynamics, the Helmholtz free energy is deemed as a thermodynamic potential which calculates the “useful” work retrievable from a closed thermodynamic system at a constant temperature and ...
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165 views

What is evidence for an irreversible change?

Knowing some about thermodynamics and reactions, I do understand how it can be shown that a change is reversible. But irreversible? Why can't it be that a change that was deemed irreversible thousands ...
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Heat transfer between two surfaces

Suppose I have surface A in contact with surface B, if I apply Fourier's law of heat transfer, which $K$ should I use, $K_a$ or $K_b$? Essentially asking whether the same block of material heats ...
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104 views

Indicators on how even the heat is distributed?

I'm wondering if there are any good indicators on how even the heat is distributed on an object (for simplicity, a flat object maybe)? What are the possibly reasonable ways to maximize the evenness if ...
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953 views

Running a stirling engine in reverse?

I just bought a small stirling engine which converts heat flow down a temperature gradient into circular motion of a little wheel. If I turn the wheel with my finger, will the engine generate a ...
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Thermodynamics of a bar, specific heat

I have a problem and I don't understand how the book solves it. It says I have a bar such that $$F=aT^2(L-L_0)$$ where $F$ is the force or tension of the bar, $T$ is the temperature, and $L$ the ...
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Irreversible process

I have this problem. I have an ideal gas that goes through an irreversible adiabatic decompression. I have the initial state (P,T,V), and the final pressure, and I have to calculate the entropy ...
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382 views

What's the vapor pressure and evaporation enthalpy of a saline solution?

Suppose you dissolve an amount of salt in water. Because of the attraction between the ions and the water molecules, you'd expect lower vapor pressure and higher enthalpie, both depending on the ...
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Constant pressure and temperature mixing of 2 different ideal gases - possible work and heat?

A simple question I hope... Initially, have two separate containers of 2 different ideal gases, 1.) N1, P, T, V1 and 2.) N2, P, T, V2. After mixing, the pressure and temperature are still P and T, ...
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378 views

why do lightbulbs sometimes unscrew by themselves?

I've seen some light fixtures which exhibit the behavior of lightbulbs gradually unscrewing by themselves.
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316 views

The definition of entropy

As history of thermodynamics say, it was a mystery that what is the required condition for a given energy conversion to take place? Like there are two possible events each conserving energy but only ...
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159 views

Amount of energy to separate Gases - relationship to concentration

I want to understand the efficiencies of separating mixed gases, and for that I want to understand the thermodynamic limit case. Looking at the wikipedia page for entropy of mixing, I find the ...
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Heat contained in compressed gas [closed]

I am trying to compute the amount of energy released in the form of heat if I compress 1 cubic meter of Hydrogen to 0.1 cubic meter while submerged in a large body of water of a given temperature - ...
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894 views

P-T Phase diagram. Density of material at critical point

One of the questions I had while reading through some material was: Why is the density of a given volume of gas uniquely defined at the critical point, but not at the triple point? Is it because at ...
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A hot object exposed to low temperature in a vacuum doesn't lose heat?

I heard somewhere that if the human body were exposed to outer space where the temperature is extremely low, the human won't actually feel cold because in a vacuum, the heat energy doesn't have ...