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 is molar specific heat at constant volume of a monatomic ideal gas a constant?

I thought specific heat varies depending on the substance. Why is it always $(3/2) R$?
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150 views

Physical significance of temperature

Some books say when heat flows into a monatomic gas at constant volume, all of the added energy goes into an increase in random translational molecular kinetic energy. But when the temperature is ...
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133 views

Heat equation with heat radiation and heat transfer

If I want to calculate steady temperature distribution on a one-dimensional stick, and I need to consider both the heat radiation and heat transfer, then my equation will be in the form: $$ \frac{\...
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4answers
180 views

Best way to heat something in aluminum foil? [closed]

Let's say we have a wet piece of paper, wrapped in aluminum foil, that we need to heat up in the fastest and most energy efficient way possible (no flamethrower). What would that be? Details ...
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239 views

Physical Meaning Of $ dQ/T $ Regarding Clausius Inequality: Is it related to Energy Loss in form of heat or Something Else?

What is the physical meaning of term $ dQ/T $ in Clausius Inequality $ dQ/T \le dS $ ? Physically we can relate entropy to number of microstates of a system, which relates to number of possible ...
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64 views

Thermodynamics - ideal gas [closed]

Question: 1 mol of a monoatomic gas at 298 Kelvin acquires a volume of 3 litres. It is expanded adiabatically and reversibly to a pressure of of 1 atm. It is then compressed isothermally and ...
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241 views

Pressure Question

I have a question that relates to an arrangement of natural gas pipelines but for simplicity I will be describing a less complex problem. Imagine that I have two large pressure vessels connected by a ...
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226 views

Speedy Cooling - Ice based Cooler - Efficient Way

Ice is used in a cooler in order to cool its contents. Which of the following will speed up the process? A) Wrap the ice in a metal foil B) Drain the water from the cooler periodically C) Put the ...
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903 views

Comparison between entropy and internal energy

Why is entropy change a better way of determining a spontaneous process compared to the change in internal energy?
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147 views

Net work and the definitions of enthalpy and entropy and their implications in the Gibbs free energy

From the first law of thermodynamics: $\Delta U = q + w$ By definition: at constante pressure: $q_P = \Delta H = \Delta U + P \Delta V \quad Eq.1$ By definition, in the reversible process: $q_{rev} =...
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64 views

Is collision in ideal gas because of physical collision or due to repulsion force

Is collision in ideal gas because of physical collision or due to repulsion force when they approach close by?
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216 views

Johnson-Nyquist noise for resistive element with temperature gradient

In Nyquist's 1928 paper, Thermal agitation of electric charge in conductors, the voltage noise for a resistor is derived assuming a circuit in thermal equilibrium and one temperature. How does the ...
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33 views

Make a circuit so that it heats water as rapidly as possible

To do this I understand that we need to create the greatest power. What I don't understand is why would we need to use a parallel circuit instead of a series circuit to create the greater power?
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118 views

How much entropy is produced in evaporating water due to irreversible evaporation towards equilibrium (humidity=100%)?

$dS=dH/T_{boil}$ for the increase in entropy by changing a phase at saturation ($T=373\text K$ for $p=1\text {atm}$ for water). However, water also obviously evaporates below boiling point when ...
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542 views

Derivation of temperature-volume relationship for a reversible adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas

We start with $\delta q = 0$ and $dU = C_{V}(T)dT = \delta w$. Why can we take the heat capacity at constant volume, when this process is an expansion so volume increases?
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1k views

Difference between heat and work

According to the Kinetic Theory of Matter, temperature is nothing but a measure of the kinetic energy of matter. My textbook says that the change in internal energy of a system is the heat gained plus ...
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491 views

Density as a derivative of the Helmholtz energy

The equation of state for nitrogen has been formulated using the Helmholtz energy as the fundamental property with independent variables of density and temperature. The equation of state in ...
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1answer
5k views

Work Done in a Thermodynamic System (Cylinder with Piston) [closed]

Heated Piston A cylinder of cross-sectional area 0.0314m^2, filled with argon (a monatomic ideal gas), is sealed with a piston of mass M=25kg that is free to move up and down. The piston is ...
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213 views

Unmixing of gases: What is the relevant temperature for my Entropy?

This answer to a question about unmixing gases states: However, let us now assume we have to hand a source of mechanical work, and a large heat reservoir at temperature $T$. I'll assume that ...
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196 views

A puzzle of thermalization in simulating the 3D XY-model

I am learning the classical Monte Carlo simulation. When I simulate the 3D XY-model $$ \beta H = -\beta J \sum_{<i,j>} cos(\theta_i-\theta_j) $$ where $\beta$ is the inverse of the temperature ...
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2answers
189 views

Why is it that in a warm shower water feels hotter near the head?

When the water first hits your body, it feels warmer than when it streams down towards your feet. I realize that part of this is due to the water cooling down by dissipation to the surrounding as it ...
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1answer
119 views

Thermal equilibrium

If two objects close together in a vacuum are in thermal equilibrium with their surroundings, but are of different sizes so they are actually emitting radically different amounts of energy, is it ...
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58 views

How to prove this equation $W_b= {P_2V_2 - P_1V_1 \over 1-n}$

$W_b = \int$Pdv $PV^{n}$=C $P=CV^{-n}$ W=$\int cv^{-n} $dv =c$\int_{v1}^{v2}V^{-n}$ dv =c[${v^{-n+1} \over 1-n}]_{v1}^{v2}$ How to get rid of the (-n+1)? to prove $W_b= {P_2V_2 - P_1V_1 \over 1-...
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101 views

Formation of atoms question

Could you please, explain to me the logic of the folllowing process as you would do to your 8 y/o sister: Ubiquitousness and stability of atoms relies on their binding energy, which means that ...
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52 views

$\mathrm{CO_2}$ rate of deposition

Parts of Antarctica average -127°F (-83°C). The freezing point of $\mathrm{CO_2}$ is -109.3 °F (-78.5 °C). If one could construct a large container at such a place shielded from the sun, would ...
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54 views

Followup to: The relation between energy quanta of an Einstein solid and the equipartition value of heat capacity

As a followup question to this question: The relation between energy quanta of an Einstein solid and the equipartition value of heat capacity and this answer http://physics.stackexchange.com/a/133053/...
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256 views

What are the contributions of the Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics?

I am very interested in Thermodynamics, but though it is easy to find good books and information about classical thermo, it seems that is not the same for non-equilibrium thermodynamics. I would like ...
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1k views

Gravity and the Second Law of Thermodynamics [duplicate]

I was wondering about the hypothetical - and apparently improbable - heat death of the Universe when I stumbled upon this seeming contradiction. A certain volume of space with a uniform distribution ...
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1answer
49 views

Variable area manometer duct

How does one measure the pressure at the end of the manometer tube when the manometer tube itself is having a variable area?
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111 views

Irreversible work

I'm having some trouble trying to find the irreversible work done by a perfect gas when expanding. I know that the reversible work is greater than the irreversible one, but how can I find the ...
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3answers
476 views

Is it possible for an electrical device to generate more heat than another using less power or the same?

People are claiming that a Plasma TV uses more power which explains why it uses more heat. We refer to power as wattage in this regard. Countering this, is it possible that a device can draw the same ...
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2k views

Total multiplicity and entropy of Einstein solids

This is really a question to get a little more insight about a homework exercise. 1. In my text book, the sum of multiplicities for all possible macrostates is given to be: $$\sum \Omega_\mathrm{...
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3answers
2k views

Why is density an intensive property?

I am still trying to understand what are intensive and extensive properties. Possibly someone can give a pointer to a decent text (preferably on the web), as I am not too happy (to say the least) with ...
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87 views

Capacitor-like-thing for controlling temperature of fluid?

I want to minimise the Gibbs' phenomenon like thing i.e. sudden peaks (temperature peaks here) in a container. Assume you have a cone where you want to block the transmittance of the temperature into ...
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1answer
56 views

How to transfer propane from a SMALL cylinder to a SMALL metal cylinder [closed]

I made a metal cylinder that is the SAME size as my 400g propane cylinder (picture: here). I want to transfer ALL (or almost all) of the propane from the propane cylinder to my metal cylinder, ...
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1answer
60 views

How can momentum changes from individual collisions be considered as a whole?

I have a question about deriving the equation of kinetic theory of ideal gas $$PV=\frac{1}{3} Nmc_r^2$$ where $N$ is number of atoms, $c_r$ is root mean square of atom speed and $m$ is mass of one ...
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948 views

Efficiency of reversible engines

I'm a little confused about something. All reversible engines have the same efficiency, or one could drive the other to move more heat in the reverse direction. Also, no engine has an efficiency ...
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163 views

Can statistical mechanics explain the second law completely? [duplicate]

Statistical mechanics is restricted to the postulate of the equal a priori probability, but this postulate does not need to be considered for thermodynamics, so the valid ranges of statistical ...
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29 views

Do the characteristic vibrational modes of a material define how much will a material heat up upon radiation excitation?

Do, and if yes how, does the intensity and energy of the Raman modes of a material make it to heat more by radiation excitation. I see phonons and vibrations of the lattice as heat, but maybe I'm ...
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2answers
3k views

Pressure vs Volume Calculation for air [closed]

I have 1 litre of air in a sealed container at atmosphere pressure (approx 15 psi absolute). I want to reduce pressure in the container by 1 psi ( 14 psi absolute or -1 psig). If I understand ...
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4answers
285 views

what property of steam makes it the preferable motive fluid in jet ejectors? why not air or nitrogen?

I want to know what properties of steam make it the fluid of choice in steam turbines jet ejectors. I want to understand the mechanism of energy conversion in these equipment and hence understand ...
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2answers
151 views

What caused a fluctuating cloud to form in a jet engine intake on a humid day?

I was on a commercial flight in a 737 stationary at idle on a taxiway. It had recently stopped raining so the relative humidity was likely near 100% and the air temperature was about "light jacket" ...
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1answer
132 views

A simple osmosis problem

The following is adapted from a problematic question* asked on the Bio site. I would like to ask it free of those distractions here. If there is anything unduly artificial about the problem please ...
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1answer
106 views

Enthalpic Excess - Regular Solution Upon Mixing

My professor, in his handout, says the following about this diagram : For $\beta>+2$ there are two minima and phase separation occurs driven by unfavourable enthalpic interactions. I ...
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2answers
2k views

Thermo-Emf variation with temperature

In the following experiment for seebeck effect After a certain temperature, the thermo-emf begins to fall. Why does this happen? What is happening microscopically at this level to cause such an ...
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2answers
92 views

What is the relation between isothermal process and its surrounding?

In an isothermal process the temperature of a system remains constant but may or may not be similar to temperature of surroundings How is this possible?
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2answers
3k views

Temperature in an isobaric process

I have a certain conceptual issue - I'm solving heat engine problems and I found something difficult to understand. Let's take an isobaric part of a cycle of an engine, let's say that the ideal gas is ...
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1answer
41 views

How to increase temperature of small mass using large mass of lesser temperature?

I know that heat flow from higher temperature to lower temperature, but theoretically, is it possible to build heat pump that can move energy from ocean which are at ~295 kelvin to a small boiler ...
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48 views

Fuel and heated iron?

If I have a pile full of fuel (gasoline) - and I also have heated iron ( very very hot - color orange) and I put the Iron in the pile , Would the gasoline will burn ? I mean - does gasoline need ...
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259 views

What will happen to water at $0^\circ$ Celsius kept in large evacuated chamber

Suppose some water is kept at $0^\circ$, in a glass (ideal container, if necessary). Now it is placed in a large evacuated chamber. What will happen? I think some water will vaporize, some will ...