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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1answer
184 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 ...
1
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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?
0
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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 ...
0
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1answer
96 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 ...
28
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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 ...
0
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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 ...
3
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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 isn'...
0
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1answer
85 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, ...
0
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1answer
719 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
137 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 ...
1
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1answer
51 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 ...
4
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4answers
441 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 ...
3
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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
477 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, ...
2
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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 ...
-3
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1answer
293 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 ...
0
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0answers
39 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
118 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 ...
2
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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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2answers
217 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?
3
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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 t^...
5
votes
2answers
917 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
0
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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 ...
0
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1answer
132 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?
3
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1answer
157 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 ...
2
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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 ...
0
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1answer
152 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 ...
1
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1answer
278 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. ...
6
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1answer
416 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 and/...
0
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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 ...
0
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1answer
253 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 ...
1
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1answer
543 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?
42
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3answers
24k 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 ...
2
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1answer
123 views

How can Wien's Displacement Law be 'changed' to a version for frequency?

Wien's Displacement Law stated that for a blackbody emitting radiation, $$\lambda_{max}=\dfrac{1}{T}$$ where $T$ is the temperature of the body and $\lambda_{max}$ is the maximum wavelength of ...
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2answers
1k views

Difference between heat and work

According to the Kinetic Theory of Matter, temperature is nothing but a measure of the kinetic energy of matter. My textbook says that the change in internal energy of a system is the heat gained plus ...
29
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it possible to focus the radiation from a black body to make something hotter than that black body?

My previous question wasn't specific enough. I'll try to be more specific. Let's imagine we have a hot body let's say 6000K hot that emits lots of thermal radiation. Let's assume 1kW of radiative ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does filling a compressed air cylinder produces heat?

And the opposite follow-up question: why does opening the air cylinder makes the air cooler? What I know is that I can't find these answers using the ideal gas law, because that is an equation of ...
73
votes
5answers
8k views

Is it possible to start fire using moonlight?

You can start fire by focusing the sunlight using the magnifying glass. I searched the web whether you can do the same using moonlight. And found this and this - the first two in Google search ...
0
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0answers
174 views

Chemical potentials at triple point

How to prove that chemical potential of each phase at triple point are equal? My attempt: At phase transition, $P$ and $T$ are constant and using $dG=0$(Gibbs free energy at minimum) at equilibrium ...
0
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0answers
35 views

What makes fluorescent lamps lower in heat than high pressure lamps coated with phosphorus?

Why does a fluorescent lamp give off more pure visible light (without heat) than a high-pressure lamp? Is the heat given off by high-pressure lamps caused by the intensity of light being emitted from ...
0
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0answers
136 views

I have got some weird data after a homemade battery experiment

Okay, so i've been searching for some time, for perpetual motion machines of the second kind. So things got into my mind, such as this homemade solar cell. And i thought in my mind:" It's not the ...
4
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2answers
205 views

Are critical exponents below and above the critical point always same?

The scaling relations don't distinguish the the critical exponents below and above the critical value. In the mean field level, I understand these critical exponents are same whatever one approaches ...
1
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1answer
491 views

Density as a derivative of the Helmholtz energy

The equation of state for nitrogen has been formulated using the Helmholtz energy as the fundamental property with independent variables of density and temperature. The equation of state in ...
0
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0answers
37 views

Nonlinear constitutive state equation

Between the Tait equation, and the B/A type of equation, which one is better suited to approximate the isentropic equation of state? Why B/A type is mostly used in nonlinear acoustics?
1
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1answer
52 views

Is every imaginable quasi-static locus (with non-decreasing entropy) physically realisable?

If I have an isolated composite system which is dependent on several extensive properties (say $U_i, V_i$ and $N_i$ for each subsystem $i$) then a quasi-static locus is just a continuous curve through ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Shock-waves, Bangs and the Speed of Sound

I was watching this video of an erupting volcano. Some Guys in the comments tried to estimate how far away the volcano is by using the delay until the "shock-wave" hits the camera and the speed of ...
21
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1answer
801 views

List of known universality classes

I am working with RG and have a pretty good idea of how it works. However I have noticed that even though the idea of universality class is very general and makes it possible to classify critical ...
4
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3answers
441 views

Why does the air pressure at the surface of the earth exactly equal the weight of the entire air column above it

Why does the air pressure at the surface of the earth (resulting from collisions of molecules on the surface of the earth which has to do with the velocity of the particles) exactly equal the weight ...