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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How does a MRI use 20.1kW yet creates over 204K BTU/h? [closed]

I've been reading through a manual about MRI operating procedures for a large healthcare provider. The manual (written by Siemens) states that the MRI machines use 9kW in stand-by mode and 20.1kW ...
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2answers
94 views

Temperature as frequency spectrum of stress-energy tensor?

I am currently learning general relativity, and in the textbooks that I am reading, temperature seems to be treated as a scalar field, extraneous to the geometry of spacetime. This is puzzling me, ...
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1answer
42 views

Considerations and questions for a DIY heatpipe, how to choose a working fluid?

I plan to build a DIY heat pipe! For more info on what a heat pipe is, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pipe. I would like to use it to cool a desktop graphics card I have. I am having trouble ...
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2answers
129 views

Temperature behavior over time of black or white cars in hot, sunny regions

How does the color of a car influence its inner temperature change over time when parked outside in windless, hot and sunny regions? I know what's the common idea about that: black cars are supposed ...
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3answers
218 views

Temperature; Why A Fundamental Quantity?

Temperature is just an indication of the combined property of mass of the molecules and their random motion. We can explain no effective energy transfer between two conducting solid bodies in contact ...
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1answer
61 views

Relation between a Quasistatic and a reversible process

Why is it that if a process is reversible, it is quasi-static? Does it mean that then the process is also non-dissipative if it is quasistatic?
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49 views

Why does the blade height goes on decreasing in a multi-stage axial flow compressor? [closed]

The axial compressors used in jet engines have their blade heights in decreasing order in the direction of the flow.
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5answers
8k views

Why am I not burned by a strong wind?

So I was thinking... If heat I feel is just lots of particles going wild and transferring their energy to other bodies, why am I not burned by the wind? When I thought about it more I figured out ...
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2answers
73 views

Thermal equilibrium and kinetic energies

Is temperature solely a function of a kinetic energy? If a solid and a gas are at thermal equilibrium at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, the solid has much less kinetic energy than the gas. How ...
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166 views

Ultra-Relativistic Fermi Gas - Chemical Potential and Energy

I tried deriving the expression for chemical potential of a Relativistic Fermi Gas using asymptotic expansion (for large z) in : $$ N = \frac{V}{h^3}4\pi (KT)^3g_s \int \frac{p^2 dp}{e^{p-\nu}+1} $$ ...
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1answer
107 views

Why does a cooling motorcycle make popping noises?

I was sitting in my parked car tonight when a Harley-Davidson motorcycle parked next to me. With my window down, I could hear that as the motorcycle was cooling down, it was giving off some type of ...
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3answers
170 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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100 views

Mixing of Ideal gas - Thermodynamic equilibrium

I always get confused what exactly happens when two ideal gases mix. Consider the initial situation where two gases are in a box, separated by a rigid and adiabatic wall between them. Now when the ...
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3answers
241 views

Is the second law of thermodynamics a fundamental law, or does it emerge from other laws?

My question is basically this. Is the second law of thermodynamics a fundamental, basic law of physics, or does it emerge from more fundamental laws? Let's say I was to write a massive computer ...
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4answers
1k views

How do we know that heat is a differential form?

In thermodynamics, the first law can be written in differential form as $$dU = \delta Q - \delta W$$ Here, $dU$ is the differential $1$-form of the internal energy but $\delta Q$ and $\delta W$ are ...
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1answer
66 views

Hysteresis and dissipation

Hysteretic phenomena are often linked to dissipation. When there is an hysteresis loop, the dissipated energy can usually be computed as the area of the cycle. For example, in ferromagnetic ...
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3answers
391 views

Improving our homemade hot tub design?

My brother and I built a wood burning, convection based, thermal circulating hot-tub. (With and oxyacetylene torch, lots of 1.5" pipe, a brake drum, and a thirty year old jacuzzi). Our design is ...
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1answer
158 views

Lowest temperature possible in the universe?

The third law of thermodynamics states that nothing can reach to absolute zero temperature. What is the lowest possible temperature that can be in the universe? Has any experiment reached to a ...
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0answers
82 views

Can there be a phase transition without change in entropy and volume?

Context: I'm studying basic thermodynamics. My lecture notes pose a question, whether there can be a phase transition without a change in entropy or volume ? Do you have any hints on where to start ...
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33 views

What mechanisms require the use of different polarities in DC welding?

In gas metal arc welding, an electric arc forms between the work piece and a consumable wire, heating the work piece and also melting the tip of this consumable wire, which is continually fed into the ...
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63 views

How to do Legendre transformations on a S=S(U,V) P,V,T system?

Problem: For a $P,V,T$ system with constant mass,entropy can be considered a function of $U,V$, i.e. $S=S(U,V)$. The goal is to derive the rest of the thermodynamic functions via Legendre ...
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1answer
93 views

Which one conducts heat better: water, or air?

If we were to assume room temperature of 20C, which of the fluids conducts heat better, and why?
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89 views

Find state equation given cubic expansion and isothermal compressibility coefficients

Context: I'm studying basic thermodynamics. Since I'm not confident that I translate the terms correctly, let me define the following coefficients mathematically: \begin{equation} \beta = ...
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2answers
221 views

What is the entropy of the universe today?

What's the entropy of the universe today? How does one go about calculating this? I've heard the statement that black holes account for the bulk of the entropy in the universe today, but don't know ...
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0answers
89 views

Why is Clapeyron equation so important?

Context: I'm studying basic thermodynamics. My textbook has a chapter on the Clapeyron equation which, as a reminder, is given by the following formula: \begin{equation} \frac{dP}{dT} = \frac{\Delta ...
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1answer
123 views

$\Delta T$, temperature units. How to use fahrenheit in this formula

To calculate the power in a fluid with a flow, the following formula is applied: $$P = \Delta T \rho c_p \times flow$$ $\Delta T$ can be entered as both Kelvin and Celsius. But what if I want to use ...
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38 views

Maximising entropy when energy is shared between systems

This is a problem to do with statistical physics, and the exchange of energy when we have two microcanonical ensemble. I don't understand why there should be a minus sign in the middle, if Energy* ...
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1answer
71 views

Thermodynamics, temperature below 0 Kelvin [duplicate]

I read a news article about how they were able to create a negative temperature, below absolute zero, and my question is how does this work? I know that there are different definitions of ...
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4answers
230 views

Boiling Order (Thermodynamics) [closed]

Three pots made of the same material are placed one inside the other and all pots are filled with water to the same level. If heat is applied to the bottom of the outermost pot what will be the ...
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6answers
3k views

Why does ice form on bridges even if the temperature is above freezing?

So with this "arctic blast" continuing, I've noticed that for my area, the temperature drops below freezing just long enough to cause freezing rain, but then the sun comes out and the temperature ...
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1answer
89 views

What is the maximum theoretical efficiency of heat to electricity conversion?

I know that heat engines (heat to kinetic) are limited by Carnot cycle and that kinetic energy to electric energy conversion via standard generator reaches over 90%. However I would like to know ...
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1answer
89 views

Work done by an expanding gas

Today in an engineering thermodynamics lecture, the professor gave an example of a gas doing work. We had a cylinder full of helium at a pressure of something like 200 kPa absolute and the valve was ...
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1answer
44 views

Amount of heat required at for unit rise in temperature at different temperatures of water

In my text book, it is given : One calorie is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of water from 14.5 °C to 15.5 °C. I found out in wikipedia that this is actually ...
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0answers
27 views

Transient conduction - Biot number with irradiation?

I understand that the Biot number is essentially the ratio of the convective effects to the conductive effects in transient conduction but what if there is some sort of radiation from a heat source ...
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2answers
168 views

If quantum gas goes below 0K, is calling 0K absolute zero irrelevant?

Lord Kelvin defined the absolute temperature scale in the mid-1800s in such a way that nothing could be colder than absolute zero. Physicists later realized that the absolute temperature of a gas is ...
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1answer
108 views

What cools off faster a square or a disc?

What cools off faster and why, a square (4 right angles, all sides same length)with an area of 100 inches or a disc with an area of 100 inches. The same material and thickness.
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1answer
26 views

Is the temperature different and or salinity different can lead to different colour of the water bodies?

I had skimming on an article about Thermocline and Halocline. How can two seas not mix? However, I am still curious on: Why the effect of Thermocline and Halocline are distinguishable based on ...
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1answer
85 views

Can ice thickness be different on two nearby lakes?

In winter, is it possible for two distinct bodies of water, which are a few kilometers apart (so they are exposed to roughly same temperature), to have different thickness of ice? Does the area of the ...
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1answer
43 views

Why does black get heated the most? [duplicate]

I found out black heats up the most and white the least, as I expected. The question I had is that despite black reflecting all the wavelengths of the visible spectrum, and hence giving the black ...
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1answer
82 views

Dimensional Analysis : Thermodynamics

I was coming across some notes online for phase transitions. In one of the places, the author has written the Claussius-Clayperon equation in this form, $$ \frac{d(ln P)}{d(ln T)} = \frac{T\Delta ...
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1answer
49 views

Unheated intermediate room - positive or negative effect on flats temp. insulation?

This is a question I have heard quite some contrary opinions, so I want to ask it here, as it deals with physics in principle:) The question is basically that, if having a unheated intermediate (in ...
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2answers
142 views

Radiation– white vs black house, hot or cool?

In my book's thermodynamics chapter, it says that an "object that radiates heat faster also absorbs heat faster. This means that an object that is a more efficient radiator comes to equilibrium ...
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1answer
463 views

What is cp/cv ratio?

Recently in our chemistry class we read that the $C_p/C_v$ ratio of the inert gases is 1.66 thus they show inert nature. I asked my teacher what was $C_p/C_v$ ratio but he didn't answer me. So I want ...
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0answers
33 views

When heat is rejected by a system what will be $q$ according to sign convention?

When a system rejects heat it can be assumed that work is done by the system. So as per law the sign convention must be negative. But my physics textbook says the reverse. So is the question.
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1answer
68 views

Information content of the expanding Universe

As I understand, in physics, 'information' is closely tied to thermodynamic entropy. Does this relationship imply that if the Universe expands and ends in 'heat death' (maximum entropy?) that it ...
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1answer
50 views

An isolated Earth

It is known the fact that there is no way to extract energy (in any form) from any system without introducing some energy. The Earth for example, gets energy from the Sun, from nuclear fusion of ...
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2answers
103 views

Derivation of the Thermal Noise Spectrum

The thermal noise spectrum is given by: $$\mathcal{S}(f) = \frac{\hbar f}{2(e^{\frac{\hbar f}{kT}} - 1)}$$ This equation seems really similar to the Dirac-Fermi distribution but where does it come ...
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1answer
86 views

Why does adding milk to my coffee produce a fractal?

Whenever I add milk to my morning coffee I often enjoy watching the patterns which are created. These patterns have a striking resemblance to certain fractals and my question is, "Why?" Oh dear, that ...
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1answer
44 views

Function describing an adiabatic process

I understand that an isothermic process, plotted on a PV diagram, can be described by a rectangular hyperbola. However, now I am wondering, what about an adiabatic process, what function best ...
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41 views

(Iso-baric / iso-choric) Thermodynamic cycle question

A very simply question: Is something that even somewhat resemble a thermodynamic cycle consisting of two iso-baric and two iso-choric cycles possible (such that you get a simple rectangle representing ...