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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1k views

I open the fridge - do I let the heat in or the cold out?

Conventionally, heat flows from hot to cold. How legitimate is it to redefine things in terms of "cold" rather than "heat" eg Cold flows from cold to hot?
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0answers
29 views

Calculate Temperature change in a solid due to resistive heating

Trying to calculate temperature increase in a solid due to resistive heating by a current flow, is this along the right lines? First I have calculated resistance due to resistivity, then calculated ...
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1answer
679 views

What does 1/k represent regarding Newtons Law of Cooling?

What does 1/k represent regarding Newtons Law of Cooling? I know k represents the cooling constant. I think the inverse of k is the time taken for the liquid to cool from its maximum temperture to ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is the direction of a flame is always upward? [duplicate]

why a candle's flame direction is always upward? What is the coposition of fire? Don't say it's energy. There is something else.
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1answer
633 views

Do ideal gases at zero Kelvin have potential energy?

Do ideal gases at zero Kelvin have potential energy?
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2answers
3k views

Why specific heat at constant pressure is greater than specific heat at constant volume?

I know the relation between specific heat at constant volume and pressure and I also know how to calculate it. Thing is, I don't understand its concept I want to know why at constant pressure, ...
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2answers
323 views

Heat rejected by a refrigerator?

What is the amount of heat rejected by the condenser of a vapour compression refrigeration system, typically those found in households? Something in the nature of a 25W compressor, for example
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0answers
131 views

Entropy: Disorder or energy dispersal?

The first definition of entropy given by Clausius is I believe this $$S=Q/T$$ It is as I understand a common fact to understand entropy and maybe often teach it as a measure of disorder through the ...
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2answers
115 views

The 1st law of thermodynamics

If a gas expands adiabatically will the work done be positive or negative? I think it will be positive as $\delta W=p dV$ and we have a positive sign due to the work done by the gas is positive as it ...
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1answer
2k views

Does time freeze at Absolute Zero? [closed]

Time has many definitions per se, but the basic idea being it's "the measurement of change" so as we know, all matter looses it's ability of changing with the loss of kinetic energy. and the where it ...
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1answer
75 views

Alka Seltzer Model: formulas/models requested [closed]

This evening I became fascinated with how my Alka Seltzer tablet disintegrates over time within a small portion of Diet Lipton Citrus Ice Tea. I used a nearly frozen cup; tall, as one might request in ...
77
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9answers
14k views

Why does matter exist in 3 states (liquids, solid, gas)?

Why does matter on the earth exist in three states? Why cannot all matter exist in only one state (i.e. solid/liquid/gas)?
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16answers
179k views

How does mass leave the body when you lose weight?

When your body burns calories and you lose weight, obviously mass is leaving your body. In what form does it leave? In other words, what is the physical process by which the body loses weight when ...
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5answers
585 views

Is the Boltzmann constant really that important?

I read a book in which one chapter gave a speech about the fundamental constants of the Universe, and I remember it stated this: If the mass of an electron, the Planck constant, the speed of light,...
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1answer
18k views

Rubber band stretched produces heat and when released absorbs heat.. Why?

I always used to wonder why this happens.. when one stretches a rubberband to nearly it snapping point holding it close to your skin - preferably cheek(helps feel the heat), it emits heat. While ...
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5answers
18k views

Why does a candle blow out when we blow on it? Our breath is 16% oxygen and only 4% CO2

Don't say that a layer of carbon dioxide covers the flame, because our breath has more oxygen than carbon dioxide. Also, our breath does not cool the flame as it is itself warm. So what is happening ...
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6answers
1k views

Gibbs free energy intuition

What is Gibbs free energy? As my book explains: Gibbs energy is the energy of a system available for work. So, what does it want to tell? Why is it free? Energy means ability to do work. What is ...
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5answers
3k views

Can a single classical particle have any entropy?

recently I have had some exchanges with @Marek regarding entropy of a single classical particle. I always believed that to define entropy one must have some distribution. In Quantum theory, a single ...
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2answers
1k views

How does a gas of particles with uniform speed reach the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution?

Take an empty container and fill it with $N$ gas particles (ideally a monoatomic gas), each having the same kinetic energy $E$, then isolate the container. Since initially the speeds don't follow the ...
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7answers
3k views

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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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 ...
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3answers
1k views

Is there a relativistic (quantum) thermodynamics?

Does a relativistic version of quantum thermodynamics exist? I.e. in a non-inertial frame of reference, can I, an external observer, calculate quantities like magnetisation within the non-inertial ...
30
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8answers
4k views

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero?

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero? I just do not see why our model must work the way ...
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3answers
895 views

Intuitive understanding of the definition of entropy

In Wikipedia, the definition of entropy goes like this: $ d S = \dfrac{\delta q_{\rm }}{T}$. The literal interpretation of this equation is that some amount of heat transferred into a system, if the ...
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6answers
13k views

How do whisky stones keep your drink cold?

From a discussion in the DMZ (security stack exchange's chat room - a place where food and drink are important topics) we began to question the difference between how ice and whisky stones work to ...
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5answers
2k views

Why isn't absolute $0 K$ temperature possible?

So $T$ is defined as $$T = \left(\frac{\partial E}{\partial S}\right)$$ and $S$ is defined as $$S = k_B \ln \Omega$$ where $\Omega$ is the number of accessible states of the system for a given $E$....
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2answers
797 views

Quantum entaglement and the arrow of time

I have seen several claims to that quantum mechanics is required to explain the arrow of time which I take to mean the macroscopic irreversibility of physical systems. This is presumably to resolve ...
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3answers
562 views

Axioms behind entropy!

The concept of entropy is very ubiquitous, we learn about its uses starting from Information Theory (Shannon entropy) up to its basic definition in statistical mechanics in terms of number of micro-...
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3answers
489 views

Why does ice melts, waits for 100 degrees and THEN vaporises? Why is not the process of expansion of things continuous?

What I am asking is this: Why can't a body be solid, then solid-ish, then solid-like, then liquid-like, then liquid-ish, then liquid, then vapor-like and then vapor? Why is there a rigid temperature ...
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2answers
874 views

The statistical nature of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Ok, so entropy increases... This is supposed to be an absolute statement about entropy. But then someone imagines a box with a 10 particle gas, and finds that every now and then all particles are in ...
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2answers
267 views

Symplectic geometry in thermodynamics

There seems to be analogues between Hamiltonian dynamics and thermodynamics given the Legendre transforms between Lagrangian and Hamiltonian functions and all of Maxwell's relations. Poincarè tried to ...
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4answers
9k views

How close can you get to lava before burning?

As the title asks: How close can you get to lava before burning? I know that it depends on an number of factors; speed of lava flow, wind direction/strength, type(?) of lava flow (related to speed, ...
16
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5answers
38k views

Does wrapping a wet paper towel around a glass bottle really speed up the cooling process?

There are claims like this one that you can improve the cooling speed of beverages when you put them wrapped in a wet paper towel inside the refrigerator/freezer. I've just tried it by myself and ...
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2answers
2k views

Which ball falls faster, the cool one or the hot one?

Suppose we're on the top of the Tower of Pisa (or a larger version of it) with two identical cannonballs. We heat one up (say, to 200 degrees Celsius, or some other high temperature before it starts ...
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5answers
3k views

Entropy of radiation emitted into space

In several papers I see something equivalent to the following expression for the entropy of radiation given by an astronomical object such as the Sun (assuming the object can be approximated as a ...
11
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1answer
632 views

Thermodynamically possible to hide a Dyson sphere?

You build a Dyson sphere around a star to capture all its energy. The outer surface of the Dyson sphere still radiates heat at much higher temperature than the cold space background, so you're easy to ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Light “diode” and 2nd law of thermodynamics

If I had a light "diode" - an object that only allowed light (at least for a range of frequencies) to travel through it in one direction, would this necessarily allow violations of the 2nd Law of ...
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6answers
3k views

Perpetual motion machine of the second kind possible in nano technology?

First of all sorry for my English - it is not my native language. During my engineering studies at the university the thermodynamics professor told us that the "second law of thermodynamics is not ...
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5answers
2k views

How is thermodynamic entropy defined? What is its relationship to information entropy?

I read that thermodynamic entropy is a measure of the number of microenergy states. What is the derivation for $S=k\log N$, where $k$ is Boltzmann constant, $N$ number of microenergy states. How is ...
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3answers
415 views

How to think physically about basic “fields”

"Field" is a name for associating a value with each point in space. This value can be a scalar, vector or tensor etc. I read the wikipedia article and got that much, but then it goes it into more ...
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4answers
34k views

Why change in internal energy is zero in isothermal process

In isothermal process $\Delta U =0$. But I am having trouble understanding it. Say we have an ideal gas, and say my temperature is constant but I move the pressure, volume from $(P, V) \to (P-dP, V+...
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12answers
5k views

Why does hot air rise in a column instead of cold air pressing down?

Ok, this looks like a dumb question or even near trolling, but I really don't understand it. When air is heated over an oven plate, it rises. Obviously, I can check by blowing some smoke in. The ...
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2answers
729 views

Why are expressions such as $\operatorname{ln}T$ used in thermodynamics where $T$ is not dimensionless?

In all thermodynamics texts that I have seen, expressions such as $\operatorname{ln}T$ and $\operatorname{ln}S$ are used, where $T$ is temperature and $S$ is entropy, and also with other thermodynamic ...
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7answers
27k views

Does an empty refrigerator require more power to stay cold than a full one?

Given that everything else is equal (model of fridge, temperature settings, external temperature, altitude), over a given duration of having the door closed, does it require more electricity to cool ...
19
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2answers
47k 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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2answers
2k views

Do chemical bonds have mass?

When an exothermic reaction occurs, the energy in the chemical bonds of the reactants is partially transferred to the chemical bonds of the products. The remaining energy is released as heat. For ...
10
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1answer
980 views

Is temperature of a single molecule defined? [duplicate]

Is temperature of a single molecule defined? This question just cropped up in my mind as I have often heard of laws being violated when it comes to the scale of a single molecule. Does this happen in ...
10
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4answers
8k views

Is energy the ability to do work?

Here was my argument against this, the second law of thermodynamics, in effect says that, there is no heat engine that can take all of some energy that was transferred to it by heat and do work on ...
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2answers
15k views

Can entropy be equal to zero?

I've searched for it but I only found contradicting answers from "scientists": Dr. David Balson, Ph.D. states: "entropy in a system can never be equal to zero". Sam Bowen does not refutes the ...
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3answers
935 views

How hot is the water in the pot?

Question: How hot is the water in the pot? More precisely speaking, how can I get a temperature of the water as a function of time a priori? Background & My attempt: Recently I started spend ...