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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767 views

Can you extract energy from “hot” things without a temperature differential?

I've been reading about extracting energy from heat, particularly Sterling engines. There's always a temperature gradient. Heat flows from the hot side to the cold side through the working fluid. As ...
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1answer
35 views

Perfect Ideal Gas Modelization of Air

I'm solving a Thermodynamic problem. I have Air at temperature of 293.15 K, and pressure of 20 MPa. I would understand if is possible to consider this an Ideal Gas or not (and if is possible which are ...
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5answers
3k views

How badly could someone be injured by concentrated sunlight?

Recently-ish, I stumbled across an interesting short story (by way of Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange) where a soccer referee is apparently incinerated by concentrated sunlight. Where ...
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1answer
63 views

How much electricity could be generated by cloths made of thermocouples?

Lets say that we made a glove, shirt, pants and a hat out of the most effective thermocouple material available today. How much electricity would be generated by each, by a healthy person, on a cool ...
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4answers
3k views

What is the minimum pressure of a medium for which a sound wave can exist?

At what pressure will be particles in a medium be unable to form a sound wave when disturbed? How can this pressure be described mathematically? My guess is that this would correspond to the point at ...
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0answers
86 views

Free energy a continuous function of temperature but may not be differentiable everywhere?

So according to my understanding, the free energy of the system should be a continuous function of temperature. This is because if the free energy is not continuous at temperature T, then at this ...
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6answers
12k views

Why can't a gas be liquified by pressure above its critical temperature?

What is the cause behind a gas being difficult to liquify above its critical temperature no matter how much pressure is applied on it?
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1answer
91 views

Are all means of heating equally efficient? [duplicate]

In terms of cost of electricity, does it matter if I heat my room using a space heater, an open oven, a flood light, an ASIC? Assume no energy escapes the room, that the heat quickly becomes uniformly ...
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1answer
670 views

is boiling of water an isobaric process?

Is the conversion of water into steam at 100°C an isobaric process? It is an isothermal process, but does pressure rain constant during this process?Please explain as well..
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1answer
115 views

Boiling Pasta resulting in a Torus like shape?

I noticed when I was boiling pasta the other day that the pasta uniformly spread out and formed a donut like torus. Why does this happen? Does it have to do with the shape of the pot? I tried to take ...
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2answers
173 views

Why are ceramic containers used for hot beverages?

Why are ceramic containers used for hot beverages? For example, is it dangerous to use plastic? Are there any other reasons other than to protect hands from heat?
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1answer
209 views

What does adding a visible light blocking IR filter do with heat?

Lets say I have a strong halogen light source which has a lot of IR radiation (e.g. a construction lamp). If I change the transparent front glass from the enclosure with a IR filter that blocks ...
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1answer
41 views

Efficiency of a thermal reactor

I was told that the efficiency of any thermal reactor increases if it is operated at higher temperature- in this case, nuclear reactor was referred to. But I cannot seem to understand why...
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6answers
21k views

Why does cold metal seem colder than cold air?

(I apologize for this elementary question. I don't know much about physics.) Let's say that I put a metal pot in the refrigerator for several hours. At this point, I guess, the pot and the air (in ...
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4answers
2k views

Why does water freeze from top to bottom

I was wondering why water freezes from up to bottom and not the other way around. The reason I question this is because in a Video I came across, I discovered water freezes from top but surely with ...
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0answers
171 views

Building free energy directly from lagrangian

Energy can be built from lagrangian when considering the symmetry of time $(\frac{\partial L}{\partial t}=0)$. Free energy is a generalization of energy when the system exchanges heat with the ...
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4answers
950 views

Question on entropy

All of my textbooks mention, that entropy-change of all spontaneous physical, and chemical processes is positive, and that such processes need another condition to fulfill- decrease in the net ...
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0answers
409 views

How much energy does it take to cook a steak?

Grilling in the park today I started to wonder just how implausible a portable battery-powered grill would be. There are of course a lot of parameters in this question, so let's narrow it down for now:...
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0answers
196 views

Effusion of particles from one box to another - pressure calculation

Suppose we have a container divided into equal halves. Right half is fixed at temperature $T$, volume $\frac{V}{2}$. Initially it has pressure $P_0$, a hole of area $A$ is opened between them. I ...
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3answers
10k views

Why can the entropy of an isolated system increase?

From the second law of thermodynamics: The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward ...
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3answers
268 views

Self Stirring Boiling Liquid

A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I were brewing a new batch of beer. We boil our wort in a turkey fryer. Pretty standard setup for beginners. Anyway, our wort was getting pretty close to boiling ...
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1answer
73 views

Thermodynamic potentials and approach to equilibrium

I have seen some material which tries to show that when approaching equilibrium upon different constraints, the changes in some thermodynamic potential is always positive or negative (for example, ...
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4answers
531 views

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

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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7answers
1k views

How does heat actually stay kept in the carbon molecules in the atmosphere? [duplicate]

We have all learned that the earth is getting heat up because of the CO2 and CO molecules absorbing heat. However, how is heat actually kept in those molecules. When photons heat them up, their ...
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1answer
355 views

Heat equation: boundary conditions?

Say we have a bar centered at $x=0$, that is heated. We have the 1D Heat equation which we can solve to find a parabolic temperature profile : $$\kappa \frac{d^2 T}{d x^2}=-\frac{Q}{L S}$$ with $$T(...
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2answers
2k views

If black and white object are in isolated space will the black absorb heat from the white?

This question has come to me from my friend in fact: he noted that the heating in the pub is painted black. I replied that it's better for heat emission. I don't know where did I know that from. And ...
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3answers
1k views

What would be non-ergodic physics processes?

As the title says, what would be non-ergodic processes that occur in statistical physics? Many textbooks do not really cover ergodicity really well so I ask this question. I can't suddenly remember ...
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4answers
1k views

Will a water-cooled system heat up a room less than an air-cooled system?

Recently - motivated by the recent heat where we live - an acquaintance argued that a water cooled computer will not heat up the room as much as an air cooled computer will. His reasoning was that the ...
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0answers
33 views

Thermodynamics of binary symmetric channels

I am reading this very interesting paper: http://m.iopscience.iop.org/1751-8121/41/40/402002/pdf/1751-8121_41_40_402002.pdf about thermodynamics of channels in information theory. More generally, ...
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2answers
146 views

Entropy was created after inflation?

I'm puzzeled by a statement in Big Bang Cosmology-review about the reheating phase subsequent to the exponential expansion during inflation: In this reheating process, entropy has been created ...
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1answer
330 views

How to prove R value for insulation?

I ran some tests on different types of insulation. I heated water, and placed it into an insulated box. The temperature was recorded every minute, for the water, as well as the air. The insulation ...
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1answer
234 views

Problem about thermodynamic relations

We know that for constant pressure thermodynamic processes, $dH=dQ_p$. My question is, does it implies that only reversible work is possible in this processes so that $dw=0$ because $dv$ is zero? In ...
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0answers
668 views

Irreversible heat engines strictly less efficient than reversible ones

I understand how Carnot's theorem implies that irreversible heat engines must be no more efficient than reversible one's, but it is less clear why they need to be less efficient, as I have seen stated ...
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3answers
247 views

Not Quasi-static, yet reversible process? Is this a valid example?

Imagine a gas (at room temp. and pressure) enclosed in a thermally insulating spherical container. At some instant, the container instantly expands symmetrically (radially outward) to, say, twenty ...
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2answers
767 views

Is every material able to exist in every state of matter?

I was shocked while reading Kittel's "Introduction to Solid State Physics", that the solid state of noble gases is a well described and makes one of the fundamental achievements of solid state physics....
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2answers
197 views

Is tea weaker if you make it in a half full cup of water?

Imagine you put a tea bag in a cup and half fill it with boiling water. Then after one minute you take the tea bag out and then fill the cup up to fill with hot water. Will the tea be weaker than if ...
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1answer
218 views

efficiency of reversible carnot engine

here two reversible engines working between same temperature(1-a-b-c-a ;2- a-b-c-d-a),by carnot's theorem they will have same efficiency, but i could not understand from figures as the out put (closed ...
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1answer
511 views

How much energy would it take to maintain the temperature in my pool?

Lets sat that I have a 1000 gallon pool sitting pretty at 82.4 degrees F (28 C). How much energy would it lose on a cold day (50 F or 10 C) and only the top was above ground (25 Sq Feet.) Would ...
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1answer
66 views

Would it really require 44 car batteries to heat my pool? [closed]

After doing some research and math, I 'discovered' that it would take 44 (give or take 20%) car batteries to heat 1,000 gallon pool by 10 degrees. Is this right or am I missing something? It seems a ...
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4answers
652 views

How does the formation of a solar system not break the second law of thermodynamics?

Please forgive: I am a layman when it comes to physics and cosmology, and have tried finding an answer to this that I can understand, with no luck. As I understand it, the solar system evolved from a ...
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0answers
269 views

Calculating heat capacity from the equation of state

It is known that within thermodynamics alone, given the equation of the state of a system, one cannot explicitly determine the heat capacity. What is the mathematical reason for this? Intuitively, it ...
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2answers
94 views

Question about Charles' law:

Charles's law says that the volume of a given mass of a gas is directly proportional to its absolute temperature. This means if we increase one, the other one is automatically increased. So the ...
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1answer
69 views

Calculation of the differential of the entropy

In this review (for those who wants a precise reference see page 8 eq 21), the Author says that: \begin{equation*} S=-\sum_{i}P\left(i\right)\ln P\left(i\right) \end{equation*} and using the Maxwell-...
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1answer
1k views

Storing kinetic energy instead of potential energy - practically possible?

One of the big problems today considering energy is its storage (e.g. batteries are not that efficient, very expensive and polluting). Energy is classically mostly stored as some kind of potential (in ...
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4answers
21k views

How much energy in form of heat does a human body emit?

How much energy in form of heat does a human body emit at rest level?
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2answers
304 views

Does the temperature of water determine how much heat will be removed from air used to evaporate it?

This is a question about evaporative cooling as used in residential evaporative cooling appliances. This type of cooling uses the heat in the ambient outside air to evaporate water and remove the heat ...
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2answers
133 views

Can the hot combustion products from a large flame be in “non-local thermal equilibrium”

Question: Does it take some time for the hot combustion products from a flame to reach local thermodynamical equilibrium (i.e. for the energy state populations to follow the Boltzmann distribution)? ...
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1answer
104 views

Does a surface in front of a radiator (not in contact) have a significant effect on the room's temperature or heating rate?

Does a surface in front of a radiator (not in contact) have a significant effect on the room's temperature or heating rate? Some time ago I had a discussion about it, and despite none of us knowing ...
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2answers
124 views

Why cannot wood be fully burnt?

Burning wood emits smoke and black. Provided more oxygen or whatever required, can wood be practically burnt fully like petroleum gasses that emits a blue flame and little smoke and little black.