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 on ball - one-dimensional description

I want to solve the transient heat equation on a ball. The boundary condition is the same over the hole outer surface. So this should reduce to a one-dimensional problem in radial direction. However I ...
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1answer
1k views

Work for constant volume compression by adding moles of gas

I often see the expression $W = V \Delta P$ for the work of a constant volume compression where there are a fixed number of moles and the compression is caused by heating. Is this the work equation ...
12
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4answers
375 views

Discontinuities and nondifferentiability in thermodynamics

In physics and engineering sources, calculus-based formalisms - whether differential forms on a manifold, or "differentials" of functions of several variables - are presented as a way of modeling and ...
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3answers
368 views

How to think physically about basic “fields”

"Field" is a name for associating a value with each point in space. This value can be a scalar, vector or tensor etc. I read the wikipedia article and got that much, but then it goes it into more ...
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1answer
278 views

Heat reflection on distant planets

I was watching a documentary last night on the first planet discovered outside our solar system. The first one apparently is a giant gas planet that orbits very close to its sun over a very fast ...
2
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1answer
330 views

Is it possible that Atomic Electron Probability Density is a result of Heat?

The Schrödinger Equation provides a Probability Density map of the atom. In light of that, are either of the following possible: The orbital/electron cloud converges to a 2d surface without heat ...
3
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1answer
455 views

What is a quasicontinuum?

I'm currently going through statistical physics, especially on Fermi energy when I came across a term called "quasi-continuum", what exactly is it?
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0answers
685 views

How do I derive the critical temperature for bose condensation in two dimensions?

In class we derived the 3D case, but there's a step I don't understand: $$ N = g \cdot {V \over (2 \pi \hbar)^3} \cdot \int\limits_{0}^{\infty}{1 \over{e^{\left( E_p \over{K_B T}\right)}-1}} d^3 p = ...
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1answer
284 views

Does the Grand Canonical Ensemble allow for exchange of particles or not?

I was doing some reading on wikipedia and found it interesting that one page says the Grand Canonical Ensemble does not allow for exchange of particles, however another page says it does. So I went on ...
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0answers
95 views

How to compute the heat flow for a specific material for some given boundary temperature?

Assume I have a bounded material with heat sources inside. The material is known (i.e. I know heat capacity and all relevant data) and the temperature of the boundary is fixed. I solved the (steady ...
2
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1answer
599 views

Temperature vs AC energy consumption

I'm need to understand the following: to keep the room at confortable temperature (70 degree, for example), how does the amount of energy consumed by the AC grow as the outside air temperature rises ...
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0answers
745 views

Why is it when you microwave cold coffee and then add milk it creates a foam head? [closed]

As compared to when the coffee is just hot from brewing. I suspect it has something to do with the way the microwaves are affecting the molecules of the coffee.
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6answers
2k views

What exactly is heat?

Is it energy? Is it energy per unit volume? Is it energy per unit time i.e power? What is it?
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3answers
8k views

Why does microwaved food get cold faster

My evidence is entirely anectodal and non-scientific, but I've noticed food gets cold faster when it's been heated in a microwave instead of a stove. Is this true? And if it is, why does it happen?
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4answers
12k views

How does a maple syrup evaporator work?

Some background info on what an evaporator is: It is a system of metal pans set over a heat source. Sap constantly enters the first pan controlled by a float valve to keep a constant depth. The pans ...
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5answers
2k views

Does the foam on top of boiling maple sap affect the rate of evaporation?

This is a serious question from someone engaged in evaporating large quantities of water to turn sap into syrup at this time of year. Probably some background will help. When sap boils vigorously it ...
3
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2answers
335 views

How might a resonant antenna and black body radiation interact?

How does an antenna behave when it is cooled so that its black-body radiation is emitting energy at its resonant frequency? Edit: To clarify, its not how they're related in general, but how might ...
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4answers
15k views

Why does the air we blow/exhale out from our mouths change from hot to cold depending on the size of the opening we make with our mouth?

Why does the air we blow/exhale out from our mouths change from hot to cold depending on the size of the opening we make with our mouth? It's not just a subtle difference, but significant in my ...
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2answers
603 views

Can a water bubble be frozen into ice bubble?

To maintain the surface tension which formed our original bubble (in order to keep the bubble from breaking), we may change the temperature/pressure of air on both sides of the bubble varyingly, with ...
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1answer
1k views

time dependence of temperature equalization

Suppose you have two thermodynamical systems $X_1$ and $X_2$ (for example water and air) with different temperatures ($T_1 > T_2$). Now put them into thermal contact. Is there a formula which ...
2
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1answer
282 views

Cooling a ball of Iron

If I have an ocean with constant temp 10 degrees celcius and I throw in an 8 gram iron ball that's 50 degrees celcius, I'd like to find how to calculate the amount of energy that flows into the water ...
2
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1answer
518 views

Internal Energy and entropy in a open system

Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_energy we can read $$U= TS-PV+\sum_i \mu_i N_i$$ Let's suppose i=1 and a ideal gas. We know: $$U=N/N_A c_v T$$; $$PV=NKT$$; $$\mu=\frac{\partial ...
4
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1answer
709 views

Thermodynamics of evaporation

If water is introduced in a container maintained at 20 °C in vacuum conditions, a gaseous phase will appear and the pressure will stabilize at the vapour pressure for the given temperature inside the ...
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3answers
750 views

Light “diode” and 2nd law of thermodynamics

If I had a light "diode" - an object that only allowed light (at least for a range of frequencies) to travel through it in one direction, would this necessarily allow violations of the 2nd Law of ...
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5answers
2k views

What is the most energy efficient way to boil an egg?

Starting with a pot of cold tap water, I want to cook a hard-boiled egg using the minimum amount of energy. Is it more energy efficient to bring a pot to boil first and then put the egg in it, or to ...
7
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1answer
218 views

Evaporating water in -30ºC

I don't really know anything about physics even though I pretended studying it for years. How is this explained?: ...
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3answers
787 views

Why is a hot air balloon “stiff”?

1) Why is a hot air balloon stiff? 2) Is the pressure inside the balloon higher than the pressure outside (atmospheric pressure)? 3) If the pressure inside is higher than the outside, how is it ...
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2answers
2k views

Chemical potential of particles with zero mass

Why massless particles have zero chemical potential?
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0answers
327 views

Maxwell's Demon - laser cooling

There’s an interesting article on Scientific American that tells how to cool individual atoms to within a very tiny fraction of Absolute Zero. It uses two laser beams acting on a very cold rarified ...
5
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1answer
305 views

A “global warming” problem

Suppose that a someone decided to calculate, for a given amount of heat added into a planet's atmosphere(an ideal gas), how much is the corresponding temperature rising of the atmosphere, $\Delta T$. ...
2
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2answers
412 views

Specific heat and temperature

This is a two-part question... Firstly, models of the specific heat capacity $C$ (i.e. Debye, Einstein) in relation to the temperature $T$ give $C$ as steadily increasing with $T$. I assume that the ...
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2answers
299 views

What happens to internal energy in high-density materials?

Normal-density materials have internal energy, which is the sum of the average energies associated to each of the degrees of freedom. Degrees of freedom can be described as vibrational, translational, ...
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6answers
19k views

Does hot air really rise?

"Heat rises" or "warm air rises" is a widely used phrase (and widely accepted phenomenon). Does hot air really rise? Or is it simply displaced by colder (denser) air pulled down by gravity?
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1answer
511 views

What role does gravity have on flame composition?

In 2000, Nasa conducted an experiment and found that gravity plays an indirect role in flame formation and composition (see the wikipedia article). What role does gravity play? Why does a flame ...
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2answers
1k views

Extracting heat energy from a material

Does it violate any physical laws to take a portion of the energy out of a system and use it? Specifically I'm referring to heat. (Kinetic energy). For example, if you have a material which has a lot ...
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3answers
304 views

If I take a handful of salt and wait for an infinite time will it become a single crystal?

That pretty much says it. Suppose I have some powder of $NaCl$. It is kept in contact with itself in vacuum. You are free to remove all the disturbances that bother you. Is that true that, well, ...
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2answers
253 views

Why are some of the biggest stars known blue?

My question refers to an overview of the biggest stars we know: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4138/4820647230_faba1c9f3b_o.jpg Why are some of those blue?
10
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1answer
315 views

Is almost all entropy in our universe entanglement entropy?

Our observable universe, or a subregion of our universe many times larger than the observable universe, originated from inflating from a very tiny inflationary patch. Being so small, the initial ...
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2answers
898 views

What is more efficient: Add milk, and then heat up coffee in the microwave, or microwave than milk?

Adding milk first increases the volume to heat and lowers average temerature, but adding it afterwards seems to have similar effects. How can you compare the two?
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1answer
382 views

Amount of free energy in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide

How much free energy is there in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide resulting from the constant bombardment of lightning strikes all over the Earth, and how do you go about calculating an estimate for it? ...
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1answer
555 views

The difference between free energy and perpetual motion [closed]

What is the difference between free energy (over unity) and perpetual motion? Please provide some examples, both real world and theoretical.
3
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1answer
381 views

The full entropy quote

What is the full text (and possibly the source) of the summary of the 3 laws of thermodynamics that goes something along the lines of "Can't break even, can't win and can't even stop playing the ...
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7answers
2k views

References about rigorous thermodynamics

Can you suggest some references for rigorous treatment of thermodynamics? I want things like reversibility, equilibrium to be clearly defined in terms of the basic assumptions of the framework.
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3answers
733 views

Why isn't pressure a measure of energy?

Hey guys, I'm having a problem in understanding the 1st Law of Thermodynamics. If i would increase the pressure of a closed system by compressing a gas in a cylinder isothermal, the 1.Law states, ...
379
votes
20answers
139k views

Cooling a cup of coffee with help of a spoon

During the breakfast with my colleagues, a question popped into my head: What is the fastest method to cool a cup of coffee, if your only available instrument is a spoon? A qualitative answer would ...
13
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4answers
1k views

How slow is a reversible adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas?

A truly reversible thermodynamic process needs to be infinitesimally displaced from equilibrium at all times and therefore takes infinite time to complete. However, if I execute the process slowly, I ...
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3answers
217 views

Colder surface radiates to warmer surface

When radiation from a colder source arrives at a warmer surface there is some debate about what happens next. To make the question more concrete lets say that the colder source is at temperature 288K. ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Pressure drop in a pipe due to cooling

I’m trying to better my understanding of the thermodynamics and momentum balance of pipe flows. The following situation, however, is making me scratch my head and I’ve found no help in my books. ...
5
votes
2answers
433 views

Can the work done between two non-equilibrium states be calculated?

The work done during a process between two equilibrium states can be described by thermodynamics. Even when process itself is out of equilibrium, the thermodynamic laws can still be used, though ...
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3answers
841 views

Is there a relativistic (quantum) thermodynamics?

Does a relativistic version of quantum thermodynamics exist? I.e. in a non-inertial frame of reference, can I, an external observer, calculate quantities like magnetisation within the non-inertial ...