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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Confusion in the pressure-volume work in an irreversible process

Let there be a certain amount of gaseous substance kept in a cylinder fitted with a weightless & frictionless piston. The initial volume and pressure of the gas are $V_1$ & $P_1$ respectively. ...
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92 views

Thermodynamic reversible process

My book says "A process is said to be reversible if it is carried out infinitesimally slowly so that in each step thermodynamic equilibrium of the system remains unchanged & any infinitesimal ...
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37 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 ...
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105 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 ...
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199 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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57 views

Does the energy required to increase a volume of water's temperature increase as that temperature increases?

Obviously in a simple, classroom style experiment the energy required to increase water temperature is a constant and thus wouldn't change, but what if we made the experiment just slightly more real ...
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95 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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309 views

Is there an equation to calculate the average speed of liquid molecules?

I seem to remember from first year physics that we can calculate the RMS speed of a stationary, ideal gas with $v=\sqrt{\frac{3RT}{M}}$. Does a similar equation exist for liquids?
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59 views

EM Radiation and Heat

If there is EM radiation, will there always be a heat exchange between the wave and its surroundings? If you have an extremely energy-efficient light bulb that converts ALL the energy it receives into ...
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319 views

How is NASA's mod II Stirling engine so powerful yet so small?

Is it because of the temperature difference? I just don't understand how it can propel a car. Here's the link to the engine: ...
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152 views

Separation of variables in various PDEs, physical meaning

The method of separation of variables produces an undetermined separation constant and a family of solutions indexed by the values of this constant. For instance, in the case of an infinitely long ...
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81 views

Behavior of gasses, ideal and otherwise

I'm trying to help a child research a science project on refrigeration. Refreshing my incredibly rusty thermodynamics skills.... The ideal gas law: $PV=nRT$. Let's take air at STP: $P = 101\,kPa$ $V ...
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commutators in an uncertainty relationship derived from a partition function?

The maximum information principle for the discrete case gives rise to a partition function (>>> see details here) $$Z(\lambda_1,\ldots, \lambda_m) = \sum_{i=1}^n \exp\left[\lambda_1 f_1(x_i) + \cdots ...
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326 views

Can we make a Maxwell's Demon using Quantum Computers?

Although I'm reasonably sure that quantum computing advances will not lead to the ability to construct a machine that globally violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it feels like a difficult ...
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151 views

Determine the flow and amplitude equation for thermal energy (with Del operator)

It is a question vector calculus and Maxwell's laws. I put it this way. Let's say, we are working in a $3$-Dimensional space ( e.g $x\cdot y\cdot z = 4\cdot3\cdot2$, a certain room/class of that size ...
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338 views

Calculating temperature of water in the freezer

Assuming water volume ($V$), initial water temperature ($T_0$) and environment temperature ($T_e$) are known, what is the easiest way to calculate temperature of water in given time ($T$)? For the ...
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901 views

Maximum efficiency for a counter-current heat exchanger (double flux controlled motorized ventilation)

I am not sure if I can explain the question correctly because I don't know the name of this mechanism in English. This is my explanation attempt: In a house, a tube is expelling the air from the ...
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217 views

If I put 3 bottles of water next to each other in the fridge, which one is cold first?

I was wondering: If I put three bottles of water next to each other in the fridge, which one is cold first? Does it matter? Is it the one in the middle because it gets refrigerated by the other two? ...
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1k views

Extracting heat energy from a material

Does it violate any physical laws to take a portion of the energy out of a system and use it? Specifically I'm referring to heat. (Kinetic energy). For example, if you have a material which has a lot ...
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32 views

Temperature dependence for specific thermal diffusivity in the diffusion formula

I recently found this answer about the diffusion equation (nice one actually), but have one doubt about the temperature dependence of this formula. If the "packet" of energy (terminology suggested ...
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66 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.
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444 views

Difference between pressure and stress tensor

What is the difference between hydrostatic pressure and stress tensor?
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169 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 ...
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48 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 ...
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123 views

What are the experimental observations behind the first principle of thermodynamics?

As far as I understand it, the first principle of thermodynamics is a mere definition of the quantity “Heat”: $$\text d Q: = \text d L + \text d U.$$ This is somewhat the point of view taken in ...
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Definition of “intensive” and “extensive” properties

Today I was asked what does it mean for a physical property of a system to be intensive. My first answer, loosely speaking, was: "It is a property that is local." I was specifically thinking ...
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208 views

Does brown but transparent swimming pool water heat significantly faster than western style highly chlorinated pools?

Eastern European swimming pools are often brown tinted water. i was told it was the color of the chemical to keep the pools clean, but who knows. These pools did not smell unsanitary and may have even ...
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Negative temperature [duplicate]

How can we prove that if a negative-temperature system is in contact with a positive-temperature system, then the heat flow from the first to the second (and finally, the temperature of the second ...
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232 views

Math for Thermodynamics Basics

I am studying Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics from a book that i am not sure who has written it, because of its cover is not present. There is a section that i can not understand: ...
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269 views

Ideal gas temperature and pressure gradients?

Consider an ideal gas in a $d\times d\times L$ box with the $L$ dimension in the $x$-direction. Suppose that the opposite $d\times d$ sides of the box are held at temperatures $T_1$ and $T_2$ with ...
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What is the most energy efficient way to boil an egg?

Starting with a pot of cold tap water, I want to cook a hard-boiled egg using the minimum amount of energy. Is it more energy efficient to bring a pot to boil first and then put the egg in it, or to ...