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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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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4answers
1k views

What are the arguments towards the Life-and-Entropy relation?

I've heard it from a few people, and I've seen it popup here in the site a couple of times. There seems to be speculation (and studies?) towards this idea, and this is what I've picked up so far: ...
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1answer
179 views

Increasing the efficiency of solar cell systems

As far as I know, there are currently two main approaches to utilising solar radiation for maximum energy conversion to electricity. These are either direct conversion to electricity, using ...
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4answers
142 views

Why work $W$ and heat $Q$ are different concepts?

I understand heat as the flow of energy (through radiation, convection or conduction) from one body to another. When I think about conduction (for example) I visualize particles that jiggle a lot ...
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3answers
222 views

Why is Entropy's Definition Useful?

I have somewhat of an understanding for other physical quantities, but as far as entropy goes I only know it to be "disorder". Why is the change in entropy formula an appropriate/useful definition, ...
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3k views

What is heat and how does it effect an atom?

What happens in the atom when it gets heated or cooled and turns into gas, liquid or solid? I just want to know how does heat affect an atom.
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335 views

Is there really such a thing as an irreversible process?

If an isolated system goes from a state A to B, will it always eventually fluctuate back to state A? If not, give an simple example. Is it right to say that entropy only says that the probability ...
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370 views

Does heat radiation come from the nucleus or the electrons?

Is more of the thermal radiation due to acceleration of electrons or acceleration of the nuclei? Do electrons and nuclei carry the same fractions of thermal energy in a hot body?
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2k views

Is there some way to narrow down the Leidenfrost point for water?

Cooks sometimes use the Leidenfrost effect to estimate the temperature of a frying pan by flicking a few drops of water onto the heated pan. I had no idea, before looking into this, that this could be ...
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27k views

What exactly is the difference between advection and convection?

After reading Wikipedia articles on advection and convection, I still cannot determine whether there is a consensus on a difference between these two terms. Sometimes, the term convection seems to ...
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3answers
2k views

Why are materials that are better at conducting electricity also proportionately better at conducting heat?

It seems like among the electrical conductors there's a relationship between the ability to conduct heat as well as electricity. Eg: Copper is better than aluminum at conducting both electricity and ...
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3answers
297 views

How do greenhouse gases trap heat?

I am looking for a molecular-level understanding of the greenhouse effect. What is it about the carbon-dioxide molecule (and methane, and water, etc) that is different from other gasses ...
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9k views

If I take a bottle of air into space, and open it, where does it go?

It seems to me that space doesn't have any/much air, and if my bottle is full of air, when I open it, where does the air go?
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What are the six degrees of freedom of the atoms in a solid?

A monoatomic ideal gas has heat capacity $C_v=1.5$ which comes from the three translational degrees of freedom. For solids at high temperature, $C_v=3$, implying six degrees of freedom. What are ...
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612 views

Spontaneous conversion of heat into work at negative temperatures

Consider a heavy macroscopic object moving in a gas. Friction causes its kinetic energy to be converted into heat. Thermodynamically, there is (effectively) no entropy associated with the kinetic ...
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3answers
162 views

Are there materials that get softer with temperature decrease?

Could be there material that begins melting/softening when it's temperature is lowered? I would say no, but I've seen enough physics to know that not always life is so easy. Moreover I think I've ...
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3answers
2k views

How does a canvas water bag cool water?

I was reading about this water bottle by Botl that behaves like a canvas water bags to keep water cool. I found out that this idea is an old idea and cars would drive with water bags in front as shown ...
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7answers
1k views

Entropy increase vs Conservation of information (QM)

Unitarity of quantum mechanics prohibits information destruction. On the other hand, the second law of thermodynamics claims entropy to be increasing. If entropy is to be thought of as a measure of ...
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1answer
246 views

Any open areas to work in non equilibrium thermodynamics for a Phd student? [closed]

I see that many papers written on fundamentals of thermodynamics(theory) nowadays are by some old professors somewhere(there may be exceptions). Most active young faculty don't seem to be seriously ...
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4answers
644 views

Definition of the entropy

In physics, the word entropy has important physical implications as the amount of "disorder" of a system. In mathematics, a more abstract definition is used. The (Shannon) entropy of a variable $X$ is ...
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1answer
871 views

What meaning does the slope of the efficiency path on a Mollier diagram have in terms of temperature?

Let's say I have a steam turbine that I have modified to increase its isentropic efficiency. As a specific case, consider the modification outlined in the Mollier diagram below. The arrows represent ...
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2answers
1k views

Why do moving particles emit thermal radiation?

While answering another question about heat in an atom, the discussion in the comments led to the question of how heat is related to thermal radiation picked up by infrared cameras. The answer is that ...
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2answers
1k views

Gibbs Paradox - why should the change in entropy be zero?

The Gibbs paradox deals with the fact that for an ideal gas with $N$ molecules in a volume $V$ seperated by a diaphragm into two subvolumes $V_1,V_2$ with $N_1,N_2$ particles in each subvolume, ...
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3answers
12k views

How does an earthen pot keep water cool?

I understand that evaporative cooling takes place thanks to small pores contained in the pot and that allow some water to go through and evaporate. However I couldn't understand clearly whether water ...
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2answers
261 views

relativistic spaceship, CMB radiation and thermodynamics

Scenario: a spaceship is travelling at a high fraction of $c$. The interstellar gas and CMB radiation has blueshifted significantly and we are facing a possible melting of the front radiation shield! ...
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7answers
11k views

Why does hot oil explode when pouring water on it?

I am puzzled to know, What is the reason of hot oil make sound and explode when we pouring water on it?
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2answers
364 views

How much energy from extreme coldness?

Let's say I have: 1: one mole of extremely cold ideal gas 2: unlimited amount of ideal gas at temperature 300 K 3: one ideal heat engine Can I generate for example 1 MWh of mechanical energy using ...
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3answers
561 views

Is thermodynamic reversibility a function of path?

Question: given a path taken by a system through state space, is it possible to make a statement such as 'that path corresponds to an irreversible process' or 'that path corresponds to a reversible ...
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3k views

Why does compressing a piston increase the internal energy?

When we compress a piston, its total internal energy increases, however I don't understand why. As the piston compresses, the temperature should change, as the total energy density increases. As a ...
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1answer
328 views

Is a black hole's surface area invariant for distant intertial observers?

Let's imagine I'm very far from any massive objects, so my local space-time is Minkowskian. Off in the distance is a black hole, far enough away that it doesn't noticeably curve space-time near me, ...
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3answers
4k views

Given constant T, why does P affect internal energy?

It has always bugged me that tables for water (and other) properties have the capability to look up internal energy as a function of both temperature and pressure. If we limit the discussion to ...
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3answers
4k views

Differentiating the ideal gas law

In reading Fermi's Thermodynamics, to show that $C_p = C_v + R$, the author differentiates the ideal gas law for a mole of gas ($PV = RT$) to obtain: $PdV + VdP = RdT$. Now, the only way I am able to ...
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2answers
805 views

What happens if you connect a hot resistor to a cold resistor?

Kind of an extension to this question: If you heat up an object, and put it in contact with a colder object, in an ideal insulated box, the heat from one will transfer to the other through thermal ...
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4answers
194 views

More detail on why pressure increases at the bottom of a column of gas

The question Why does the air pressure at the surface of the earth exactly equal the weight of the entire air column above it asks why the air pressure at any elevation is equal to the weight of the ...
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2answers
440 views

Difference between irreversible and entropy?

Cedric Villani recently wrote an article on Landau damping, where at least one topic discussed confused me. Besides discussing the issue of how a process can be microscopically reversible and ...
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497 views

Physical significance of negative temperature

I read some answers regarding negative temperatures but I think my question is new. I want to know that what is the physical significance of negative temperature. Suppose I say a body has ...
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3answers
2k views

Determine the Dependence of S (Entropy) on V and T

Why can the equation $$dS= \frac{1}{T} dU + \frac{P}{T} dV$$ be expressed as $$dS= \left. \frac{\partial S}{\partial T} \right|_V dT + \left. \frac{\partial S}{\partial V} \right|_T dV \quad?$$
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2answers
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How to describe heat transfer between two solid materials?

A general equation for dealing with heat transfer between one material and a region of insulating material. I've seen basic heat transfer equations for one material, but I'd love to see an explanation ...
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3answers
7k views

How air humidity affects how much time is needed for heating the air?

In cold weathers it is suggested to put a humidifier since the air gets too dry. I wonder how the humidity affects how much time is needed to get the air at a temperature of 20 Celsius degrees? I mean ...
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0answers
1k views

Inflating a balloon (expansion resistance)

I am doing a quick calculation on how to calculate the pressure needed to inflate a perfectly spherical balloon to a certain volume, however I have difficulties with the fact that the balloon (rubber) ...
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1answer
105 views

Is temperature affected by gravitational potential?

Ok, I feel a bit silly asking this. I'm asking in relation to this question here on the molecular basis of hydrostatic pressure in a gas. There's been quite a bit of discussion and one of the ...
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2answers
152 views

What's the true reason behind thermal expansion?

Thermal expansion is a normal concept everyday. There are 2 explanations: 1, thermal expansion result in stress, then result in deformation 2, thermal expansion result in deformation, then result in ...
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1answer
456 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 ...
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1answer
124 views

What's the point with equilibrium in Thermodynamics?

All the Thermodynamics books I saw until now state that in Thermodynamics we are mainly concearned with equilibrium states (I know there's "non-equilibrium Thermodynamics", but I'm interested on the ...
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3answers
422 views

Are galaxies, stars, planets, and ultimately life in violation of the second law of thermodynamics? [duplicate]

How can we think about entropy in these situations? To my knowledge all of these structures are born out of gravitational interaction. However, it would seem that the formation of these more organized ...
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4answers
182 views

Why does my house seem to warm faster in summer than it cools in winter?

In summers when we switch off the air conditioner, the room seems to instantly get hot again. But in winter, when we switch off the heater the room seems to remain hot for some time. Why this ...
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3answers
2k views

What is happening as our Universe is expanding? Is entropy increasing or decreasing?

Scientists say that entropy of our universe is increasing as it is expanding and our universe is cooling down gradually from the time of it's birth.If something is getting cooler and cooler then how ...
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3answers
774 views

What's the basic difference between heat and temperature?

Temperature is usually seen as a calibrated representation of heat but what about latent heat? Eg. Ice and water have different amounts of heat at 0 degree c.
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3answers
280 views

Slow thermal equilibrium

I have a question which is inspired by considering the light field coming off an incandescent lightbulb. As a blackbody radiation field, the light is in thermal equilibrium at temperature $T$, which ...
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2answers
2k views

Connection between entropy and energy

An isolated system $A$ has entropy $S_a>0$. Next, the isolation of $A$ is temporarily violated, and it has entropy reduced $$S_b ~=~ S_a - S,\space\space\space S\leq S_a.$$ Is it true to say: the ...