Covers the study of (mostly homogeneous) macroscopic systems from a heat/energy/entropy point of view. Maybe combine with [tag:statistical-mechanics].

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

0
votes
1answer
88 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?
0
votes
0answers
82 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 = ...
5
votes
2answers
201 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
107 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
37 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* ...
1
vote
1answer
70 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
220 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 ...
17
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
85 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
43 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
25 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
165 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
105 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.
0
votes
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
133 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
374 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 ...
0
votes
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.
1
vote
1answer
67 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
100 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
38 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Work of an adiabatic/ compresion: sign?

As far as I am concerned the adiabatic work it is given by: $$ W_{adi}=\frac{P_{f}V_{f}-P_{i}V_{i}}{\gamma -1}$$ While I have seen in other examples that it is used with $1-\gamma$ in the ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Is the thermal time constant simply the heat capacity divided by thermal conductivity?

My professor gave me this temperature decay data to make an exponential fit and told me that the time constant tau should be heat capacity over thermal conductivity. I'm looking at the wikipedia page ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Help wanted achieving cryogenic temperatures [closed]

My son's science project involves liquifying air. I found the Linde process which is the way it was done first. We are trying and not getting very far so I am looking for advice. I have an air ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Conduction– conservation of energy

So I know that conduction is transfer of thermal energy by direct contact via molecular collisions. For conduction, $Q/t$ is the rate of heat flow and is heat current ($I$). My textbook says that ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

What happens to matter when in a thermodynamic equilibrium?

I am trying to gain a better understanding of thermodynamic equilibrium. Here's what (I think) I know: If a system is in Thermal, Radiative, Chemical, and Mechanical Equilibrium, then it is in ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

General Thermodynamic equation of state

I heard my professor saying that the equation $$ PV = \frac{2}{3}U $$ is valid for any non-relativistic gas, be it Ideal or Real gas(includes quantum ideal gases). Is this true, If it is how can we ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

What would give us more heat ? infrared or microwaves?

As we know that our body is made up mostly of water and the frequency of vibration of water molecules matches that of microwaves which is the working principle of microwave ovens. When we come in ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Trying to turn a nonlinear differential equation into a linear one

The problem I have today is to determine the differential equation for a square fin protruding from a wall that experiences surface to ambient radiation and has an internal heat generation of $\dot q$ ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

Thermalising a sub-system of a larger, interacting system

I'm considering a joint system consisting of a spin-1/2 particle (qubit) and a spin-l particle (reference) coupled via a Hamiltonian $H_0$. At a certain point I want to couple the qubit to a bosonic ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

What creates black streams in fountain-type fireworks?

For the New Year celebration of 2014, my nephews set off a series of fountain-type fireworks (as shown below). When one looks carefully into the shower of light, one notices that a fair number of ...
5
votes
2answers
130 views

Thermal equilibrium in general relativity

The Newtonian condition for thermal equilibrium for a static system is $T = \mathrm{const}$. In this homework I'm asked to show that it's curved space generalization is $T(-g_{00})^{\frac{1}{2}} = ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

How does pressurized gas constantly push?

If a gas, such as hydrogen, is pressurized into an air tight container, a force in terms of pascals (or whatever unit you want to use) is exerted, correct? That is what pushes against every surface ...
8
votes
3answers
291 views

Where does the kinetic energy go?

A uniform cylinder was placed on a frictionless bearing and set to rotate about its vertical axis. After a cylinder has reached a specific state of rotation it is heated without any mechanical support ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

How much heat needed to heat 400g of ice at 0°C to 20°C in a 200g aluminium pot? [closed]

An aluminium pot has a mass of 200g and contains 400g of ice at 0°C. How much heat would be needed to melt that ice and then raise the temperature of the resulting water to 20°C. The specific heat ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Can I make a cold air trap (thermal equilibrium)

Thermodynamic buoyancy. I have an air intake for combustion air entering into a basement furnace room. During cold weather, the air enters unchecked (no damper on pipe is allowed). I have this 5 ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Does heat increase the volume of a gas, and in turn its pressure?

Lets say you have 1 liter of hydrogen in a sealed container, at 100 psi. If 50 cm^2 of the containers surface area is heated to a 1000 degree Celsius, will the psi increase over time? What would be ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

Equilibrium Condition

In classical thermodynamics, equilibrium conditions means maximum entropy for a closed state. However, people always talk about equilibrium for open systems as well. How can one say that an open ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

“Single-shot” Heat engine efficiency limits

The sun is 5778K and Earth is ~290K. Using the sun as the hot reservoir and earth as a cold reservoir we get 95% Carnot efficiency. However, the solar power efficiency limit is only 86%, see: ...
0
votes
4answers
203 views

'Polar Vortex' Boiling Water to Snow is Mpemba Effect?

I am based far away from the icy storm currently blanketing the US - the 'polar vortex'. However, I have seen in the TV news footage of reporters throwing boiling water into the air, the water ...
2
votes
2answers
584 views

Why does a copper mug keep my Moscow Mule cold? (Or does it?)

The Moscow Mule is a delicious cocktail that is normally served ice cold in a copper mug. The general consensus among Moscow Mule drinkers is that the copper mug keeps the drink colder than a normal ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

How does the internal energy and entropy depend on mass?

I've found this thermodynamics question: Given a fluid described by the following equations: $$PV^{1/3}=aT^3 ,\quad U=3aT^3V^{2/3}, \quad S=\frac{9}{2}aT^2V^{2/3}$$ The parameter $a(n)$ ...