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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Calculating time to heat cold water in bowl of hot water

How would I calculate the time it takes to heat a given volume of water to a given temperature with a given temperature T1 when it is submerged in a volume of water with a temperature T2 Estimation ...
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3answers
163 views

Do processes $P\propto\frac{1}{V^2}$, $P\propto\frac{1}{V^3}$, $P\propto\frac{1}{V^4}$, etc., exist in the real world?

Is there any real process in which $PV^n=C$ where $P,V$ stands for pressure, volume respectively. $C$ is a constant and $n$ is a positive integer? I am familiar with Boyle's law that states that ...
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2answers
371 views

Hawking radiation and black hole entropy

Is black hole entropy, computed by means of quantum field theory on curved spacetime, the entropy of matter degrees of freedom i.e. non-gravitational dofs? What is one actually counting?
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1answer
353 views

What if microstates increase proportional to universe volume? [closed]

I am probably a delusional crank with a lot of crazy, overly speculative conjectures. If I am not delusional, than at the very least I've been ahead of the curve, the last 40 or so years. I was a ...
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3answers
2k views

How can there be heat in a vacuum?

I keep reading in the Physics World focus issue on vacuum technology about scientists creating high temperatures in the vacuums etc. If heat is caused by thermal energy being radiated from particles ...
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Why the breath sometimes warm and sometimes cold? (2 different explanations!)

If you blow air against your hand with your mouth open, you feel warm breath. If you do with with your lips closed except for a small opening, you feel cold breath. One explanation from here says ...
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130 views

Evolution of Gibbs energy change of reaction with temperature

The Gibbs energy change of reaction is given by $$\Delta G^0_{rx}=\Delta H^0_{rx}-T\Delta S^0_{rx}$$ From the look of it seems the direction of variation of equlibrium with $T$ is given by the sign ...
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design of the heat exchanger…in chimney

I want to design a heat exchanger in a chimney in order to utilize heat from chimney. I have done several experiments, but I could not determine the exact length of tube (carrying water), such that ...
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2answers
407 views

Why water will stay on a piece of toilet paper?

I think everyone has tried to blow air (breath) on toilet papers. The papers will get wet. I believe the holes diameters on a toilet paper should be much larger than diameters of water molecules. (The ...
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1k views

Carnot efficiency, coefficient of performance for a refrigerator

I was reading that a new type of refrigerator might reach a coefficient of performance (COP) of 10. This seems quite the achievement and the authors state that their approach might achieve a Carnot ...
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980 views

Is temperature an extensive property, like density?

I was thinking about it some time ago, and now that I've discovered this site I would like to ask it here because I couldn't work it out then. I know that the higher temperature the air in my room ...
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1answer
94 views

Is Joule heating only between charged particles?

The Wikipedia page for Joule heating explains "It is now known that Joule heating is caused by interactions between the moving particles that form the current (usually, but not always, electrons) and ...
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4answers
723 views

Shock speed in air/vacuum shock tube

Some of you are probably aware of What If, xkcd's blog about interesting physics problems. One episode, Glass Half Empty, concerns itself with what would happen if a glass of water is half water, ...
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2answers
358 views

Problems in the modern semiconductor/electronics technology?

From what I have read, the problem with modern semiconductors/electronics seems to be quantum tunnelling and heat. The root of these problems is the size of the devices. The electrons are leaking out, ...
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467 views

Time to establish saturated vapour pressure above liquid

Thought experiment - a liquid is in a closed container in equilibrium with its vapour, and then suddenly all the vapour is pumped away. Switch off the pump so that instantaneosuly there is no vapour ...
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2answers
352 views

Convergance of a system to Boltzmann distribution

Consider a system with finite-dimension state X and energy E(X), with dynamics which follow the Langevin equation $\frac{dX}{dt}=-\nabla_X{E(X)}+\eta(t)$ where $\eta$ is white noise ...
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152 views

How can a strong water current be cold

This is a layman question. If heat is the motion of atoms, how can a fast moving water current be cold?
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400 views

Multi-component mixture phase equilibrium criteria

For a pure species, the equlibrium between liquid phase and vapour phase is given by the equality of molar Gibbs energy in both phase: $$\underline{G}^l=\underline{G}^v$$ Where $\underline{G}$ with ...
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153 views

direct conversion of heat to electric potential / current - are there theories that contradict the 'Kelvin Statement'?

In particular, William Thomson (Kelvin) appeared to be wrong about key things in physics (initially X-rays, aether, even aviation feasibility). ...
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How is $\frac{dQ}{T}$ measure of randomness of system?

I am studying entropy and its hard for me to catch up what exactly is entropy. Many articles and books write that entropy is the measure of randomness or disorder of the system. They say when a gas ...
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0answers
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experiment proposal to validate microcausality

I've been wondering about microcausality for some time now (a recent question of mine regarding the topic) and i'm wondering if its possible to devise an experiment to detect potential violations I ...
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2answers
514 views

Demonstrate magnets adhere to conservation of energy pursuant to the laws of thermodynamics

I am looking for a way to demonstrate that magnets adhere to the laws of thermodynamics, in particular the requirement that energy in a closed system be conserved. To adhere to the requirement that ...
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5answers
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Why does burning magnesium explode when sprinkled with water?

Magnesium powder burns extremely well and reaches temperatures of 2500°C. However, attempts to extinguish such a magnesium fire with conventional water (e.g. from a garden hose) only make it worse: ...
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Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Arrow of Time: Why isn't time considered fundamental?

I've come across this explanation that the "arrow of time" is a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics, which says that the entropy of an isolated system is always increasing. The argument is ...
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4answers
1k views

What is the status of Mpemba effect investigations?

There is this puzzling thing that is called Mpemba effect: paradoxically, warm (35°C) water freezes faster than cold (5°C) water. As a physisist, I've been asked about it several times already. And I ...
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Is it theoretically possible to reach 0 kelvin?

I'm having a discussion with someone. I said that it is -even theoretically- impossible to reach 0K, because that would imply that all molecules in the substance would stand perfectly still. He said ...
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Why does thermal resistance go down as temperature goes up?

Here is the thermal resistance data for three speaker coils disengaged from the speaker cone. Any ideas? I would think it would be a horizontal line. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_resistance ...
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1answer
135 views

Where is the critical moment where the microcanonical ensemble enters the justification for the equilibium state?

As explained in many books, for the microscopic justification of the second law of thermodynamics (lets formulate it as the total entropy takes maximum among all possible exchanges of two systems), ...
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1answer
257 views

Why is the crust of my meat pie only slightly warm?

I just cooked a meat pie in the oven. Almost immediately after pulling it out of the oven, I felt that the crust was only slightly warm, but when I cut it open the filling felt very warm. I can't ...
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4answers
288 views

Is energy extensivity necessary in thermodynamics?

Given a partition of a system into two smaller systems, the energy $U$ is devided into $U_1$ and $U_2$, with $$U=\mathcal{P}(U_1,U_2):=U_1+U_2,$$ so that $U_2$ is given by $U-U_1$. Here the ...
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2answers
2k views

Constant Volume vs. Constant Pressure?

Approaching the following question: Consider two experiments in which 2 moles of a monatomic ideal gas are heated from temperature $T$ to temperature $T + \Delta T$: in the first experiment ...
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509 views

Is temperature quantized?

I'm learning quantum mechanics on my own. I've known that energy is quantized and I've started wondering about temperature. From thermodynamics we have: $$U=\frac{3}{2}NkT $$ (for ideal gas, of ...
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204 views

Double internal energy, how much will the entropy change?

Approaching the following question Imagine we have a collection of $N = 100$ simple harmonic oscillators. The total internal energy is $U = q \epsilon$ where $q$ is the number of energy ...
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67 views

What is $k_B$ in the context of this question?

Answering the following question 1000 atoms are in equilibrium at temperature T. Each atom has two energy states, $E_1$ and $E_2$, where $E_2 > E_1$ . On average, there are 200 atoms in the ...
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Introduction to differential forms in thermodynamics

I've studied differential geometry just enough to be confident with differential forms. Now I want to see application of this formalism in thermodynamics. I'm looking for a small reference, to learn ...
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Question about entropy and “smart materials” (that remember shape)

We all know that entropy is the measure of chaos in the system, and it's always increasing in the system. Now comes my question - how does entropy work in smart materials? Here is a youtube video ...
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187 views

Does the molten salt used at projects such as Gemasolar need to be replaced after some cycles?

The project at Gemasolar uses molten salt to store heat. This heat is then used with water to drive steam turbines. Over time does this kind of repeated heat/cold cycle make the molten salt a less ...
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224 views

Temperature and latent heat

Building a bronze stature we make a mold and pour in the liquid bronze when the bronze hardens we remove the mold. The mold is made of 3 Kg of steel and the statue has a mas of 1 Kg. The specific ...
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2answers
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Why I will feel colder when I get out from a swimming pool? [duplicate]

A friend of mine told me that because water heat capacity is higher. He also mentioned that it was similar to alcohol on skin effect. Assume that there are 3 situations. 1. I did not get wet 2. I got ...
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171 views

Determine the flow and amplitude equation for thermal energy (with Del operator)

It is a question vector calculus and Maxwell's laws. I put it this way. Let's say, we are working in a $3$-Dimensional space ( e.g $x\cdot y\cdot z = 4\cdot3\cdot2$, a certain room/class of that size ...
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1answer
528 views

Cause of sea ice freezing during an upwell event

One of the Episodes of BBC's documentary Frozen Planet describes an upwell phenomenon in the Antarctic Ocean. I am trying to understand the cause of seawater freezing when this upwell occurs. Liquid ...
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2answers
4k views

What is the relationship between Energy, Entropy, and Information?

What is the relationship between Energy, Entropy, and Information? I read this - What Is Energy? Where did it come from? - and the top answer says that 'energy' is an abstract number that is a ...
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1answer
65 views

What is the average total heat incident on Earth's surface each hour?

Just what the title states Some part or the other of this Globe faces approximately towards the Sun during each 24 hour period. What is the total amount of heat (in calories) incident on average ...
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2answers
371 views

Density of states via a Laplace transform

Is this formula correct? $$ \frac{-1}{\pi}Im\int_{0}^{\infty}\!dt~\exp(Et)\Theta (t)\exp(i \epsilon t) ~=~ \sum _{n}\delta (E-E_{n}), $$ $$ \Theta (t)~=~ \sum_{n}\exp(-tE_{n}) ,$$ and I have used ...
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0answers
59 views

What would happen to Earth if the Sun suddenly disappeared? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: If the earth left the solar system for interstellar space. How long would it take for atmosphere to freeze Suppose the Sun simply vanished, what would be the ...
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2answers
153 views

May molecules of ideal gases have an inner structure?

The following question is probably very elementary: whether molecules of ideal gases may have optic properties? As far as I understand, when one discusses optic properties, one assumes that molecules ...
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Why does Joule-Thomson expansion of a gas do no (external) work?

I understand one of the benefits of the Hampson-Linde cycle is that there are no cold-side moving parts, but isn't one losing an awful lot of energy in the throttling process? There must be something ...
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3answers
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Why did my frozen water bottle explode when I opened it after it defrosted a bit?

Last night I filled a 20 fl oz bottle (http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/beverages/soft-drinks/boylans-mash.asp) with lukewarm water from my tap. I filled the bottle pretty much to the brim, ...
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1answer
289 views

Man on treadmill and energy/mass conservation

Suppose we put a very obese man inside a large air tight isolated room with a treadmill and he runs on the treadmill for 24 hours and at the end of the day he sees his weight has come down (mostly ...
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1answer
1k views

How to calculate specific heat capacity of an alloy

I have done an experiment in which I measured the specific heat capacity of a coin. I would like to compare the results to the actual value. I have found out that the coin is made of Cupronickel alloy ...