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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14
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3answers
1k views

Is the total energy of earth changing with time?

Many years ego, Earth was hot. Over time, it has lost energy and has become colder. Is it now in equilibrium or is its total energy changing?
3
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1answer
1k views

Why the dissolution of hydrophobic compounds decreases the entropy of water molecules in the vicinity of the solute?

The following is a quote from Lehninger's Principles of Biochemistry, 4th edition, pg.52: (...) dissolving hydrophobic compounds in water produces a measurable decrease in entropy. Water ...
1
vote
2answers
564 views

How does a dehumidifier work?

I have read sites like this, but I am just not getting it yet. I'm looking to understand the variables involved, which I think are: air moisture content air flow (cfm?) condenser surface area? ...
0
votes
1answer
247 views

Maxwell relations, confused on how the solution got to this answer

I have a problem where, basically, in part (a) I correctly found a fundamental equation $$TdS = dE - 2\sigma l dx$$ Then the problem goes on to say that the only parameters of interest are $x$ and ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Adiabatic expansion in van der Waals gas [closed]

Given a Van der Waals gas with state equation: $$\left( P+\frac{N^2 a}{V^2}\right)\left( V-Nb \right)=NkT,$$ show that the equation of an adiabatic process is: $$\left( ...
1
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0answers
32 views

Why put something in the middle of the pan would prevent soup coming out during cooking? [duplicate]

I see a website which teach people to put something on top of the pot during cooking soup to prevent the soup coming out during cooking. What is the physical theory behind that?
2
votes
1answer
203 views

Can anyone explain the idea behind dS ∝ dV/V?

In a lecture on entropy, one of the equations $dS ∝ \frac {dV}{V}$ was explained as "a fractional change in volume as a measure of the increase in randomness" (related to $\frac{dQ}{T}$) How does ...
1
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1answer
328 views

What is the temperature of a quantum particle in a box?

Some simple examples in textbooks include simple 1D systems such as particle in an infinite potential well or in harmonic oscillator potential. It is also said that at absolute temperature of the ...
0
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1answer
80 views

Pressure derivative of bulk modulus

Hi all what is the definition of pressure derivative of bulk modulus if it is a pressure derivative of bulk modulus at zero pressure. if the pressure is zero how it is derivative by pressure?
0
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0answers
229 views

What's the typical material used as a low-k ILD in semiconductors?

Semiconductor companies (namely IBM, Intel, TSMC and etc.) may use different low-k materials as inter-layer dielectric (ILD) in their fabrication process. I'm wondering what is the most typical one. ...
3
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1answer
215 views

Why does water ($\mathrm{H_2O}$) only have two distinct fluid phases?

Water (and other substances) can exist in many distinct solid phases (with different crystallic micro-structure), but only in two fluid phases - liquid and gaseous, in which the molecules are oriented ...
1
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2answers
86 views

Temperature-induced wavelength shift of optical coatings?

Optical coatings designed for reflection or anti-reflection are made of many thin layers which will expand when heated. What will the effect be on the wavelengths the coating will reflect when the ...
0
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2answers
121 views

Will the heat flow of Joule heat be different, if the Joule heat is dissipated in a material that has a temperature gradient beforehand?

Let us assume one dimensional heat transfer, for example a finite length wire starting at point $0$ and ending at point $\ell$. If the current passes the wire, the Joule heat $I^{2}R$ will be ...
0
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1answer
90 views

What thermal conductivity coefficient should I be using when modeling a heatsink?

Using the finite difference model for heat transfer, I am trying to model the heat flow into a heatsink. However, I am unsure of what k value or coefficient of thermal conductivity to use. Should I be ...
74
votes
12answers
23k views

Why are radiators always placed under windows?

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this but in most buildings and most rooms, radiators are predominantly placed under a window. Now, in my eyes, that is the worst place to put them; hot air ...
0
votes
1answer
273 views

Thermodynamics and wall insulation [duplicate]

Australia's history has been littered with the problem of how to manage safety in bushfires. The local fire authority recommend consideration be given to preparing a bushfire management plan, deciding ...
1
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1answer
413 views

Is temperature-induced change in the volume of balloons dependent on gas?

Which balloon will have higher relative change in volume, helium balloon immersed in liquid nitrogen or air balloon immersed in liquid nitrogen? Since volume is directly proportional to temperature ...
8
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1answer
461 views

Strange behaviour of water drops on a heated pan

I did an experiment in my home and I was surprised by the results. I heated a pan without anything in it. After some time it became very hot and I took some water (2 drops) and put it into the pan. It ...
2
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0answers
180 views

Trace of the number operator in second quantization

I would like to find the helmholtz free energy of a system $F=-T ln(Tr[e^{\frac{-H}{T}}])$ namely a bcs superconductor (using Annett's notation) $H=\sum E_k (b_{k\uparrow}^\dagger ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Why is it that a Carnot heat engine will reject no heat to a zero temperature sink?

Looking at the equation for Carnot efficiency, I notice that as the temperature of the heat sink approaches zero, the efficiency approaches unity: $$ \eta_{rev} = 1 - \frac{0}{T_H} = 1 $$ Seeing ...
1
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1answer
299 views

Molar heat capacity of gas defined by relation $p=kV$

we have this problem where relation between Pressure($p$) , Volume($V$) is defined by relation $$p=kV$$ where $k$ is a constant and we have to find the molar heat capacity of the gas. Note:Ideal gas ...
1
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2answers
202 views

Absorption of radiation due to temperature

I was wondering if the temperature of an object affects the amount of radiation it absorbs. For example, if I have a box that is hotter, will it absorb more energy as compared to the same cooler box? ...
3
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5answers
4k views

Does decrease in temperature affect mass $E=mc^2$?

My understanding of Quantum physics and String Theory is very basic and I don't yet have a grasp on the maths, but in my research I have come up with a question. Does a decrease in temperature also ...
0
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0answers
273 views

Definition and Measurment of Energy and Heat in Thermodynamics

The concept of work is clear from mechanics, where $dW=F\cdot dx$, leading to $dW=PdV$. Also different forms of energy are defined in mechanics, e.g., $E=\frac{1}{2}m v^2$, etc. How are the energy and ...
0
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2answers
206 views

Are $G$, $F$ and $H$ (thermodynamics potentials) extensive quantities?

Internal energy $E$ is an extensive quantity for most systems. But energy extensivity is not valid in systems with long-range interactions, like gravity (e.g. in astrophysical systems). For extensive ...
1
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3answers
2k views

Electric heating rod

I usually heat my bathing water with electric heating rod, I always thought that the base of rod is an insulator so that it can develop high heat. But when I tried touching water while rod was dipped ...
0
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1answer
146 views

What are the experimental observations behind the first principle of thermodynamics?

As far as I understand it, the first principle of thermodynamics is a mere definition of the quantity “Heat”: $$\text d Q: = \text d L + \text d U.$$ This is somewhat the point of view taken in ...
1
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2answers
114 views

What is the effect of phase transition on the thermodynamic state variables of a material?

When a material undergoes a phase transition, it releases an amount of heat (under a specific temperature). So the effect of the phase transition on entropy would be equal to: \begin{align} ...
0
votes
3answers
322 views

Was Joule's experiment able to show: thermal energy = $mgh$

Is my understanding of this experiment correct? There is the quantity $MC\delta \theta$ associated to the heat which I think is not an absolute value to be compared with $mgh$ since the $\delta ...
2
votes
3answers
478 views

The cooling curve of tin during solidification

I'm going to measure the freezing point of tin by recording the cooling curve. It sounds like a dull experiment because all I have to do is to heat up the tin, wait for it to cool, and the computer ...
8
votes
4answers
680 views

Doesn't the use of a thermometer alter the temperature of the system?

If I place a mercury thermometer in hot water, heat energy will transfer from the water to the mercury inside the thermometer. Will this continue until thermal equilibrium is reached and thus the ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Is thermal/heat energy the same thing as internal energy?

I learned that internal energy of an object is the sum of the kinetic energy and potential energy of the molecules of the object. Is this energy the same thing as the heat energy the object contains?
0
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2answers
199 views

How do you keep a fridge full of food cooler?

I just graduated and a mate moved into a flat (none of us are physicists by the way). So, were graduates, we got a new flat, and were broke. So, were now having a debate on how to keep a fridge ...
0
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1answer
2k views

Burning VS Melting: What is the relation in the atomic/molecular structure?

This has never been asked before on this site, so I thought I would ask this to help future searchers, passerbys, or others understand this better. What are the key differences between burning ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

Tungsten Wire Heat discipation

Background Information: I'm doing an experiment in which I place a bare tungsten wire in to various liqids, to measure a coefficient $\alpha $ in the equation $$ Power Dissipated = \alpha * \Delta T ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Explain entropy (again)

I think I understand entropy finally. Will you verify for me? $$S = k_B \ln( \Omega)$$ where $\Omega$ (the multiplicity) is the degeneracy of the system at some energy (E)? So if the system is a ...
11
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2answers
388 views

Will entropy continue to increase even if the universe begins to contract?

If the universe is heading for a big crunch, when the universe starts to collapse will entropy decrease and the arrow of time consequently reverse or not? I'm interested in the explanations, not just ...
0
votes
2answers
185 views

Can you confirm 2 simple statements about vaporization?

Vaporization is an interesting engineering subject, but unfortunately much about it has always been unclear to me. Recent research of mine has brought my mind to link vapor pressure to boiling and ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

Do vortex tubes work with a reversed end plug?

Would a vortex tube still work if instead of a cone plugged into the 'hot' end you had a smaller hole on the 'cold' end? As I understand it, the point of the cone on the hot end is to only allow the ...
1
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0answers
75 views

Transitions in a magnetic refrigeration

The graph below (see attached) shows the measured magnetization against temperature at room pressure for the material Gd and for another material for use in a magnetic refrigerator at room ...
4
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2answers
643 views

One way insulation?

I know from basic physics lessons that a box painted black will absorb heat better than a box covered in tin foil. However a box covered in tin foil will lose heat slower than a black box. So what ...
2
votes
2answers
635 views

Probability of Different States - Canonical Ensemble - Partition Function

Consider a canonical ensemble of $N$ ideal gas atoms, which could have spin up or spin down. Why is it that the probability of finding the particle in a spin up state generally only involves the ...
0
votes
1answer
761 views

Light bulb filled with air inside volume of helium [closed]

I have a question on my homework I can't really figure out. It's from Reif, problem 3.6, Fundamentals of Statistic and thermal physics Question: A glass bulb contains air at room temperature and at a ...
0
votes
1answer
334 views

Proper name for a thermodynamic process with constant internal energy $U$

Back in the day I learned that a few special thermodynamical processes have special names. For example, if one keeps $P$ constant, the process is called isobaric, if one keeps $T, V$ or $S$ ...
1
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0answers
187 views

Average number of spin up particles

In a paramagnetic system, where $N = N_\uparrow + N_\downarrow$ is fixed, how does one calculate the average number of spin-up particles $\langle N_\uparrow \rangle$? You can assume we have the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Partition Function for Two Level System

I have a system with $N_s$ sites and $N$ particles, such that $N_s >> N >> 1$. If a site has no particle, then there is zero energy associated with that site. The $N$ particles occupy the ...
8
votes
4answers
683 views

Is an entropic force an actual force that can be explained as a fundamental interaction?

Fundamental interactions, such as electromagnetism, the strong force, the weak force, and possibly gravitation, all have something in common: They can be described in terms of relativistic quantum ...
1
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1answer
218 views

Is water a gas at critical density, room temperature?

I am quoting Chaikin, Lubensky, Principles of Condensed Matter Physics, p. 4. Now suppose we have a closed container of water vapor at a density of 0.322 g/cc at room temperature. As the ...
6
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0answers
623 views

Is Feynman talking about the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics?

In Volume 1 Chapter 39 of the Feynman Lectures on Physics, Feynman derives the ideal gas law from Newton's laws of motion. But then on page 41-1, he puts a caveat to the derivation he has just ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Reversed freezing point

Helium-3's Phase diagram shows that at the right temperature and pressure combination, the solid region dips downward as temperature increases. That means that you can heat it up and it will freeze. ...