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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Performing work on a box of gas by lifting it, and first law of thermodynamics

What happens if we lift a box of ideal gas? Work is done to the box but no heat is getting into it. So does it's internal energy increase by the amount of work done? Or is it that lifting is not ...
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432 views

Ideal gas and diatomic gas with same temperature

If a box of ideal gas and another box of diatomic gas are in thermal equilibrium, does it mean that the average translational energy of ideal gas particle (A) is the same as that of diatomic gas ...
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383 views

Can we make a Maxwell's Demon using Quantum Computers?

Although I'm reasonably sure that quantum computing advances will not lead to the ability to construct a machine that globally violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it feels like a difficult ...
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6k views

Work Done by an Adiabatic Expansion

I am given the information that a parcel of air expands adiabatically (no exchange of heat between parcel and its surroundings) to five times its original volume, and its initial temperature is 20° C. ...
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6k views

Work Done in an Isobaric Process

I am given the information that an air parcel undergoes isobaric heating from 0° C to 20° C, and that's all I'm given. I have to determine the work done by the parcel on its surroundings. I know that ...
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4answers
3k views

Physics of a burning log of firewood

According to my knowledge, heat is nothing but the result of the vibrations of atoms and molecules. I guess this mean that in heating up a gas or liquid, we are increasing the rate at which the ...
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3k views

Energy in bolognese reduction - lid on or off?

Generally, to let my bolognese thicken, I leave the lid off in order to "let water vapor escape." I am however distracted from enjoying the taste because I'm having doubts that my physical reasoning ...
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246 views

Work done by introducing a spin in supersposition into a Magnetic Field

A spin is created in a superposition of up and down states. A magnet is moved very slowly, towards the spin. What is the work done by the magnet. It may be helpful to imagine that the magnet is ...
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3answers
344 views

Schrödinger and thermodynamics

I heard that Schrödinger pointed out that (classical/statistical) thermodynamics is impaired by logical inconsistencies and conceptual ambiguities. I am not sure why he said this and what he is ...
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328 views

How to evaluate heating value on the basis on these data?

Heating value of liquid-gas mixture was tested with primus which has gas burner. In the initial state aluminum container with lid protected from the wind has temperature of 0 celsius and in it 0,54 ...
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495 views

Why there is no negative temperature [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Prove that negative absolute temperatures are actually hotter than positive absolute temperatures Proof of existence of lowest temperature $0 K$ On the Kelvin ...
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500 views

What forces are at play when molecules wiggle (due to heat)?

What forces are at play when molecules wiggle (due to heat)? Or in other words, What makes them move?
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743 views

Are negative temperatures typically associated with negative absolute pressures?

Negative temperatures and negative absolute pressures are both possible in physical systems. Negative temperatures arise in (for example) populations of two-state systems, which have a maximum amount ...
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811 views

How to properly bake a ultra high vacuum chamber?

I need to get rid of water excess in my vacuum chamber, and for that there is the procedure of baking. In order to do that there are several things that one needs to consider, the power, heat load, ...
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250 views

Gas pressure equalisation: Where does the excess energy go?

Assume for purposes of discussion a closed container with a concentration of gas on one side and near-vacuum on the other. We could let the gas pressure equalise naturally, or we could construct a ...
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137 views

“This is not a perpetual motion machine, because reservoir temperatures are changing.” Is it a valid argument?

I've already faced this situation several times: given a statement (in area of thermodynamics) I used it to provide an example of some perpetual motion machine (of first or second kind). Therefore, I ...
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2answers
268 views

Carnot cycle: What happens to the rest of the energy?

In a Carnot cycle, the work potential is $W =Q_{in}( 1-\frac{T_0}{T_R})$ where $T_0$ is the temperature of the sink, $T_{R}$ is the temperature of the source heat reservoir, and $Q_{in}$ is the heat ...
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505 views

Does a concave or flat bottom pan use heat more efficiently?

This may be anecdotal. Playing in the kitchen I realized the frying pan comes with both a flat, and a concave bottom. So here's the question - Given two pans made of brass, one has a concave base ...
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2answers
228 views

Supermarket refrigerator - why is it noticebable colder in this shop area?

As we know fridge can't cool room in which it is (according to Second Law of Thermodynamics, heat emitted by fridge is greater than heat absorped). However, when we go next to the fridge in ...
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128 views

Physics of homebrewing heat exchangers

In homebrewing on of the key steps when brewing with extract is to rapidly chill the wort from boiling temperatures to about 80F in 30 min. This is needed to reduce risk of environmental ...
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1answer
108 views

Thermal Expansion. Is there a way to fix my bottle?

I did something very stupid tonight. I poured hot water into an polyethylene water bottle and it immediately contracted causing it to overflow and burn my hand and leg. I immediately wasted my hand ...
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1answer
354 views

Which heated, partially filled bottle will explode first?

This is in reference to a pasteurization discussion on a homebrewing forum. I have four closed bottles which will explode if containing too much pressure. Two of them are 50% full (A and B), and two ...
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2answers
2k views

Does negative temperature in Carnot cycle yield a counterexample of the second law of thermodynamics?

By Carnot Theorem, the efficiency of Carnot cycle is$$\eta=1-\frac{T_C}{T_H}$$ where $T_C$,$T_H$ are the absolute temperature of the cold reservoir and hot reservoir respectively. Since $T_C > 0$, ...
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1k views

What kind of cooling mechanism could be used in outer space?

This question arises out of this question on Quora - Apollo 11: 1969 Moon Landing: Did Neil Armstrong really land on the moon? I'm convinced with most of the explanations provided in the first ...
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1answer
108 views

What is the energy in eV between atoms in a typical solid state material?

Comps 2 question: What is the energy in eV between atoms in a typical solid state material ? Just rough estimate ? How is that related to the thermal energy that needs to be supplied in order to ...
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1k views

Salt and boiling speed

When we add a compound (salt) to a solvent, the boiling points rises. But, what could we say about the speed the solvent reaches the boiling point? It's better to add salt before or after boiling ...
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3answers
2k views

Does Nantenna (nano antenna) violates 2nd Law of Thermodynamics?

Does Nantenna (nano antenna) violates 2nd Law of Thermodynamics ? Nantennas absorb infrared heat and convert it in direct current. Quote from Wikipedia: He did not discuss whether or not this ...
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683 views

ratio between work and heat [closed]

I am really stuck on a problem in my textbook: Water is heated in an open pan where the air pressure is one atmosphere. The water remains a liquid, which expands by a small amount as it is heated. ...
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2k views

Will adding cold water to a hot iron pan harm it? Why/why not?

Adding cold water to a aluminum pan can be harmful. Is this same with iron pan too? How can it be explained?
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3answers
16k views

Thermodynamics - Sign convention

I use the sign convention: Heat absorbed by the system = $q+$ (positive) Heat evolved by the system = $q-$ (negative) Work done on the system = $w +$ (positive) Work done by the system = $w -$ ...
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7k views

What makes water boil?

Basically how boiling takes place? Also like to know... What makes boiling point alter at various altitudes? Why bubbles rise through boiling water?
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268 views

Why does an ice rink use a primary and secondary coolant?

A normal refrigeration cycle uses one coolant, so why does vapor compression cycle of an ice rink you a primary coolant and a secondary coolant?
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10k views

How much work is needed to compress a certain volume of gas?

I want to know the formula (and what does the symbols stand for) for how much work is needed to compress a certain volume of gas?
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2answers
1k views

Why can't I evaporate water without wind, just heat? (not boiling,evaporating!) Or can I?

So here is the thing, I searched all over the internet for this but all the sources say that I need wind because the process of evaporation goes as follow: Water particles at the top layer with ...
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2answers
476 views

State-dependent diffusions: Fick's law vs. Fokker-Planck's, which and why?

Consider a "state-dependent diffusion": a diffusion process for which the diffusion coefficient $D(x)$ depends on the (stochastic) state $x$ of the system. (An example is provided by the diffusion of ...
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559 views

Carnot Engine for Finite Reservoirs

Two solid, finite thermal reservoirs have temperatures of $T_1$ and $T_2$ respectively and an engine operates between the two. Assume $T_1 > T_2$ and that each reservoir has constant heat capacity ...
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2k views

What is the difference between infrared heat and “regular” heat?

In Feynman's terms temperature is the speed at which atoms are 'jiggling'. Now, let's suppose I've just eaten a sizable dinner, and my body temperature just got a tad up. Am I emitting more photons in ...
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216 views

Zero entropy change

If you put a object in contact with a heat reservoir that is infinitesimally higher in temperature than the object and allow equilibrium to be reached the entropy change is zero right?
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3k views

Work on ideal gas by piston

Imagine a thermally insulated cylinder containing a ideal gas closed at one end by a piston. If the piston is moved rapidly, so the gas expands from $V_i$ to $V_f$. The expanding gas will do work ...
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2k views

Where does the lost energy go in a rubber band powering a rotating shaft?

Okay, I'm no physics whiz, and this has me stumped. You know those toy airplanes you can get with the rubber-band driven propellers? You twist the propeller a bunch of times, and this stores ...
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2k views

Crash course in classical thermodynamics

I've been working on some projects lately where it would be very handy to know more about thermodynamics than I do, but sadly I never had a chance to take a proper thermodynamics course in college. ...
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909 views

What is the meaning of following expression $C=\frac{\delta Q}{dT}$ mathematically?

Our professor raised the following question during our lecture in Statistical Physics (even so it's related to Thermodynamics): Many text books (even Wikipedia) writes wrong expressions (from ...
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59 views

Temperature measurement, precision

I am having problems with one of the problems I have done (a) which is basically $\theta = 273.16K (19/15) = 346.00K$ For (b) I am given that the length is 15.00cm when the thermometer is incontact ...
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4answers
2k views

Was the Universe's entropy equal to zero at the Big Bang? Is zero-entropy state unique?

It is postulated by many cosmologists that at the Big Bang time the universe was in an unusual low entropy state. Does this claim specifically mean that the entropy of the initial universe was zero? ...
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3answers
3k views

How can I determine density of a gas only given temperature?

I have a homework problem where exhaust is traveling through an exhaust system (assumed to be air for simplicity) from and engine and then released into the atmosphere. The exhaust is at a temperature ...
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507 views

Is thermal noise “quantum random”?

Is the randomness that can be extracted from thermal noise "as random" (that is, even theoretically inaccessible to measurement according to our knowledge of quantum mechanics, and not just random for ...
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3answers
326 views

Do I have the meaning of the property temperature correct?

OKay my book just starts out talking about the vague definition we have for temperature and we ended up with the Zeroth law of Thermodynamics which states: Two systems are in thermal equilibrium ...
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80 views

thermodynamics of a dual-face surface in space

This question is a continuation from this one. A material disk have two sides, one that is reflective and another absorptive of electromagnetic radiation in the range where the background cosmic ...
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2answers
1k views

Why does it take until the middle of summer before lakes have warm water, but desert sand heats up in hours?

My sister asked me this question and I keep thinking that water would conduct heat much faster than sand. Hence the energy transfer of heat across the lake does not allow it to heat up soon. Sand on ...
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3answers
191 views

Heat Equation Equalities

While studying the heat equation, I ran into a few equalities that I cannot understand. For example, Fourier's law of heat conduction claims that $$\varphi(x,t)=-K_0\frac{\partial u}{\partial x},$$ ...