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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Boundary value problem

Consider the boundary value problem \begin{align} \frac{du}{dt}&= \frac{d^2u}{dx^2} , \\ u(0,t)&=0 \\ u(L,t)&=0 \\ u(x,0)&=f(x) \end{align} I know how to solve it using ...
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1answer
260 views

Equation of State and Neutron star

I'm searching for equation of state books, with references to neutron star and ultra-dense matter.
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99 views

Change in Shannon entropy of a quantum circuit of Hadamard gate and a loop

The following Q&A about reversible computing is available here. It has listed a number of practical scenarios where a reversible circuit can still be dissipating heat. Let's assume that none of ...
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43 views

Entropy of this system

We have a system with two energy states $E_0$< $E_1=0$. We also know that state $E_0$ can only take at most $m$ particles. Curently, there are $n<m$ particles in $E_0$. Now, I am supposed to ...
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58 views

Entropy change at varying volumes

I have two questions both related to each other: 1.What is the effect of change in volume (whether increasing or decreasing), of a system, under isothermal conditions? How does this change in ...
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3answers
198 views

Clausius statement of the 2nd Law

I'm slightly messed up with the Clausius statement of the 2nd Law. I've seen at least two versions, which seem to be conceptually different. a) It is impossible to transfer heat from a colder body ...
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90 views

Robin boundary conditions for the heat equation

Consider a 3D channel with fluid or gas with walls $\Gamma_1$, inflow part $\Gamma_2$ and outflow part $\Gamma_3$. The temperature is described by the heat equation: $$ \frac{\partial T}{\partial t} ...
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1answer
76 views

Problem Boltzmann distribution [closed]

I am trying to solve a problem about boltzmann distribution. If(A)=0.74 Uf(V)=0.037 Ia(A)=0.130 I have to find ...
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2answers
146 views

Only differences in chemical potential have physical meaning?

Is the statement in the title true? Does the chemical potential of a single pure substance that does not undergo any chemical reactions or phase changes have any physical meaning?
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211 views

Johnson-Nyquist noise for resistive element with temperature gradient

In Nyquist's 1928 paper, Thermal agitation of electric charge in conductors, the voltage noise for a resistor is derived assuming a circuit in thermal equilibrium and one temperature. How does the ...
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1answer
59 views

Energy without temperature

If you know the entropy $S$ of your system. Is there a general way to calculate the internal energy $U$ of your system? So the entropy $S$ is the only thing I know of my system. I have no information ...
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2answers
3k views

Why would the lack of air in a mine in an asteroid prevent you from flooding it?

In Isaac Asimov's I, Robot novel, two scientists stationed in an asteroid where mining activities are performed say "We could flood the mines, if this weren't an airless asteroid" when considering ...
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169 views

What is the overall rate of heat conduction through two pipes of different dimensions if the thermal conductivity is not constant?

I am trying to work out how I would find the rate of heat transfer through two pipes made of the same material that are joined at their ends but which have different cross-sectional areas and lengths. ...
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38 views

What does negative absolute temperature mean? [duplicate]

I always understood that the concept of absolute temperature stems from the third law of thermodynamics and that the lowest theoretical possible temperature is zero degrees Kelvin. However, ...
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0answers
61 views

Why can thermal shocks damage/break materials?

When an object is heated a lot and then brutally cooled down or vice-versa, it can crack or even break spectacularly. What happens inside that makes it do that? Is it only because the hot core swells ...
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1answer
172 views

Why doesn't a Brownian ratchet provide free energy?

A Brownian ratchet is described here at Wikipedia. The "why it fails" section reads: Feynman demonstrated that if the entire device is at the same temperature, the ratchet will not rotate ...
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1answer
33 views

Make a circuit so that it heats water as rapidly as possible

To do this I understand that we need to create the greatest power. What I don't understand is why would we need to use a parallel circuit instead of a series circuit to create the greater power?
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1answer
80 views

Does Nucleation Occur during Phase Equilibrium?

I understand that during phase transition nucleation must occur. I'm wondering, once phase equilibrium is established, does nucleation still occur? For instance, in liquid-vapour equilibrium, does ...
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1answer
95 views

Confusion about the Definition of Boiling Point

From the description of boiling here: Boiling is the rapid vaporization of a liquid, which occurs when a liquid is heated to its boiling point, the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the ...
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6answers
3k views

Is a suit that hides a soldier's heat signature fundamentally possible?

I recently played "Crysis", a game where the protagonist wears a suit that allows the player to hide both himself and his heat signature. Then I watched Iron Man 3, where a kid suggests that Tony ...
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0answers
73 views

Trying to calculate the length of a tube to heat Ar gas

If one were trying to heat Argon gas from ambient (~20C) through a mild steel tube of some diameter 'd' how long would it need to be? Additional unknown includes flow rate of Ar gas so some general ...
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1answer
2k views

Why do vapour cones form around jet fighters?

Apparently this phenomenon has nothing to do with jets breaking the sound barrier and has something to do with the Prandtl-Glauert singularity as described on Wikipedia. But, the Wikipedia article ...
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1answer
82 views

Two Limits in Thermodynamics - Reducing Driving Force and Increasing Resistance

I just wanted to clarify what is probably a very obvious idea. Suppose I'm holding a a piston separating two containers at different pressures. If I release the piston, it will naturally move, ...
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1answer
702 views

Latent heat of solidification

What is the heat release mechanism involved in solidification from liquid phase? Is the energy transferred to nucleation centres?
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1answer
131 views

Evaporation of water at room temperature

Could anybody refer me to some literature (textbooks or research, although preferably textbooks!) dedicated to explaining quantitatively the phenomenon of evaporation of fluids? I understand that it's ...
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1answer
49 views

Schwabl states that a change in external parameters cannot increase entropy. If so, how can an adiabatic process be irreversible?

I am working my way through trying to understand statistical physics, and this particular, apparent inconsistency has had me stuck for days. Any help or advice would be hugely appreciated. I was ...
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2answers
2k views

Explanation for negative specific heat capacities in stars?

I've just found out that a negative specific heat capacity is possible. But I have been trying to find an explanation for this with no success. Negative heat capacity would mean that when a system ...
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4answers
418 views

What is the actual energy content of the Sun?

Beside the energy released by nuclear fusion in the core, the Sun is a hot plasma of hydrogen and helium ranging from thousands to million of degrees. So how does that translate into energy ? I have ...
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2answers
1k views

Why can we say that $\bar{d}Q=TdS$?

When we introduce entropy we do this by saying that: $$\bar{d}Q=TdS.$$ Now I was wondering why this should be true? I know that by looking at a Carnot cycle, we do get this relation for reversible ...
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2answers
470 views

Compute convective heat transfer coefficient for a condensing steam

I have a question about convective heat transfer coefficients. I am trying to figure out how much steam I can condense in this specific heat exchanger. Steam at 9 MPa is condensed in a 1 shell pass, ...
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2answers
64 views

How can we tell if a molecule is in thermodynamic equilibrium from scattering data?

We have a molecule that is emitting/absorbing photons. We know the Hamiltonian and that there are several levels. We count the emitted photons at different angles and frequencies. We can also do ...
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1answer
280 views

Why charge is an extensive property [duplicate]

While reading examples of extensive properties, I cam across electric charge. Can someone please explain to me why electric charge is considered to be an extensive property? We know that extensive ...
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0answers
38 views

Can the effectiveness of a heat sink be increased with surface texturing?

Some supercapacitors use chemical etching to increase their surface area by several orders of magnitude. Could a similar process be used on a heat sink to increase its surface area and thus its ...
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2answers
115 views

How much entropy is produced in evaporating water due to irreversible evaporation towards equilibrium (humidity=100%)?

$dS=dH/T_{boil}$ for the increase in entropy by changing a phase at saturation ($T=373\text K$ for $p=1\text {atm}$ for water). However, water also obviously evaporates below boiling point when ...
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1answer
2k views

Calculating Boltzmann constant using semiconductor

My task from the latest laboratory exercise in physics is to calculate Boltzmann constant from known temperature, current and voltage. We were given this circuit: By changing the resistor value, I ...
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1answer
191 views

Work done in adiabatic reversible process

I was solving a problem on turbine.the steam works on turbine adiabatic reversibly .Is change in enthalpy or is it change in internal energy which equal this work?
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0answers
47 views

Boundary conditions for enthalpy waves inside a pipe

So I'm trying to solve a form of the wave equation for sound produced by a vortex distribution $\vec{\omega}$ convecting at velocity $\vec{v}$ . $$\left(\frac{1}{c_0^2} \frac{\partial^2}{\partial ...
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2answers
913 views

Is a black body sphere inside a black body shell hotter than the shell?

I am missing something very basic here. Let us assume the shell is at a fixed temperature T by a power generator. The sphere inside will radiate the same power it absorbs. The power radiated by the ...
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2answers
110 views

How stable are Benard Cells when the thermal gradient begins decreasing?

I've found lots of information on the formation of Benard Cells and convection currents but very little information about what happens to the self-organized structures when the energy gradient being ...
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3answers
1k views

Can Thermal Energy be converted into usable energy?

I'm going to go out on a limb and ask a question that will probably be a bit humiliating: Can Thermal Energy be converted into usable energy? I've been reading about conservation of energy, and I know ...
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1answer
129 views

Freezing or melting Brine

In the freezing of brine, is it possible to do it at a rater or in such a way that the water only freezes or the ice is somehow isolated? Or conversely is this possible in the melting of brine-ice?
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1answer
153 views

How do door-less refrigerators keep cool air inside?

I got curious when I saw a door-less refrigerator for the first time. It was in a shop and I couldn't control myself so I began to look around to see how they work but I couldn't figure it out. They ...
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1answer
58 views

Question Regarding Nucleation in Phase Change

When liquid turns into solid a nucleus is required. Is the same requirement present for solid-liquid (melting)? Do condensation also require nucleation sites like in freezing? When I look at ...
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1answer
151 views

How can I compute heat retention of a heated ceramic floor?

The U.S. department of energy suggests electric radiant floor heat can be cost effective if the floor is preheated during off peak electricity hours if installed within an appropriately massive ...
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1answer
275 views

Why wouldn't a room temperature superconductor violate the laws of physics?

I understand that the laws of physics (as we know them) cannot be violated, but what I would like to know is what I'm missing, because I know there is some explanation that I'm not accounting for. ...
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1answer
400 views

Conservation of energy when focusing black body radiation on another black body

This question about whether or not it is possible to focus black-body radiation to make something hotter than the radiation's source was answered mostly negative: the second law of thermodynamics ...
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0answers
18 views

Calculating entropy [duplicate]

Suppose 30 gram of metal Gallium melts at 36 °C. The specific heat of fusion is 80.3 kJ/kg and the melting temperature is 29.9 °C. Explain if the melting of the Gallium in this process is ...
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1answer
250 views

'Mechanical equilibrium does not necessarily mean that the pressure is same at all points of the system' - why?

If there are variations in pressure or elastic stress within the system,parts of the system may move, or expand or contract. Eventually these motions,expansions or contractions will cease, and when ...
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1answer
535 views

Derivation of temperature-volume relationship for a reversible adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas

We start with $\delta q = 0$ and $dU = C_{V}(T)dT = \delta w$. Why can we take the heat capacity at constant volume, when this process is an expansion so volume increases?
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23k views

How does water help extinguish fire?

How does water extinguish fire? Heat energy from the fire is transferred to the water, isn't that how it works? How does water deprive oxygen and stop combustion? How is the specific heat of water ...