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 do vapour cones form around jet fighters?

Apparently this phenomenon has nothing to do with jets breaking the sound barrier and has something to do with the Prandtl-Glauert singularity as described on Wikipedia. But, the Wikipedia article ...
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1answer
137 views

What's the point with equilibrium in Thermodynamics?

All the Thermodynamics books I saw until now state that in Thermodynamics we are mainly concearned with equilibrium states (I know there's "non-equilibrium Thermodynamics", but I'm interested on the ...
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3answers
472 views

Are galaxies, stars, planets, and ultimately life in violation of the second law of thermodynamics? [duplicate]

How can we think about entropy in these situations? To my knowledge all of these structures are born out of gravitational interaction. However, it would seem that the formation of these more organized ...
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4answers
204 views

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

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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3answers
2k views

What is happening as our Universe is expanding? Is entropy increasing or decreasing?

Scientists say that entropy of our universe is increasing as it is expanding and our universe is cooling down gradually from the time of it's birth.If something is getting cooler and cooler then how ...
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4answers
806 views

What's the basic difference between heat and temperature?

Temperature is usually seen as a calibrated representation of heat but what about latent heat? Eg. Ice and water have different amounts of heat at 0 degree c.
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3answers
280 views

Slow thermal equilibrium

I have a question which is inspired by considering the light field coming off an incandescent lightbulb. As a blackbody radiation field, the light is in thermal equilibrium at temperature $T$, which ...
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2answers
2k views

Connection between entropy and energy

An isolated system $A$ has entropy $S_a>0$. Next, the isolation of $A$ is temporarily violated, and it has entropy reduced $$S_b ~=~ S_a - S,\space\space\space S\leq S_a.$$ Is it true to say: the ...
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2answers
509 views

Intuition behind the concept of heat

Even if elementary, I'm afraid I am still not comfortable with the concept of heat. I can picture heat as some kind of incompressible fluid that is transferred from a body to another in such a way ...
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2answers
2k views

How fast is heat transferred by conduction?

How fast is heat transferred by conduction? Is there some simple, but quantitative way that starts from some properties of the material (e.g. its thermal conductivity) and makes rough predictions, for ...
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3answers
103 views

Does the second law of thermodynamics take into consideration of attractive interactions between particles?

If one searches Google or textbooks on 2nd Law of Thermodnamics, one usually finds a statement that is either equivalent or implies the following. The entropy of the universe always increases. But ...
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2answers
329 views

Existence of gusts of wind, an anomaly?

Enthusiast + Student, not a pro, so pardon my ignorance. How can wind possibly flow in gusts? The way I understand it, a gust is a pocket of air which hits you at slightly higher speed. But how ...
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4answers
476 views

Is there any optical component that uniformizes the incoming light?

Is there any optical component in existence that uniformizes randomly pointing rays?
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5answers
569 views

If I replace all my lights with LEDs will my heating costs increase?

A number of nations are passing bills to phase out incandescent light bulbs. The thinking is that the tungsten filament is an inefficient method of turning electricity into light, the rest of the ...
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1k views

Does an object's color change its rate of cooling?

The motivation for this question comes directly from this thread. The proposition is that the color of something changes how fast it cools (note: specifically the rate of cooling, not taking into ...
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1answer
2k views

Heat of vaporization of water - dependence on relative humidity?

Does the heat of vaporization of water depend strongly on the relative humidity of the gas into which it evaporates? Some context: If we want to calculate the dew point of water, we find the ...
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2answers
1k views

Are information conservation and energy conservation related?

as evident from the title, are both, conservation of energy and conservation of information two sides of the same coin?? Is there something more to the hypothesis of hawking's radiation other than ...
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0answers
2k views

What are typical values of the critical thickness of insulation?

As most people who've had any elementary heat transfer course are aware, when insulating a pipe, wire, etc, there is a critical thickness for the insulation below which it causes greater heat transfer ...
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3answers
843 views

Why is a hot air balloon “stiff”?

1) Why is a hot air balloon stiff? 2) Is the pressure inside the balloon higher than the pressure outside (atmospheric pressure)? 3) If the pressure inside is higher than the outside, how is it ...
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2answers
947 views

What is more efficient: Add milk, and then heat up coffee in the microwave, or microwave than milk?

Adding milk first increases the volume to heat and lowers average temerature, but adding it afterwards seems to have similar effects. How can you compare the two?
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183 views

How does the entropy change during the cooling of a hot coffee in a cold cup?

The second Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy always increases in the universe: things become more disorganised. This means, that if I have a hot coffee in a cold cup, then the heat will ...
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3answers
155 views

Simplest way to analytically determine whether a claimed heat transfer process obeys the second law of thermodynamics?

I want to find the simplest method to determine whether a proposed heat transfer process violates the second law of thermodynamics. Specifically I am looking for a method that meets the following ...
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2answers
217 views

Why does room temperature water and metal feel almost as cool as each other?

From what I've read about heat, temperature and conductivity, I understand that the reason water at room temperature feels colder than most other things at the same temperature (like wood, air, ...
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1answer
117 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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2answers
435 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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3answers
133 views

Temperature of thermally isolated space region

If we thermally isolate a region in space, say using a hypothetical material of $0$ conductivity, and measure the region's temperature, will it be 2.7K?
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325 views

What is meant by boiling off electrons in a heater coil?

In my electricity and magnetism course, we used a Thompson tube to produce an electron beam. There is a heating element at the back of the tube and the lab manual claims that "electrons are boiled ...
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163 views

Uncertainty and Thermodynamics

Dilemma The uncertainty principle of energy and the 2nd law of thermodynamics don't add up : the uncertainty principle of energy says that $\Delta \tau \cdot \Delta E \ge \frac{h}{4\pi} = ...
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443 views

Irreversible expansion and time reversal symmetry

Suppose there are N non-interacting classical particles in a box, so their state can be described by the $\{\mathbf{x}_i(t), \mathbf{p}_i(t) \}$. If the particles are initially at the left of the box, ...
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91 views

Which one is colder? Zero temperature ice or zero temperature water?

I like to understand that which one of the following items seems colder, when we touch them? zero temperature ice zero temperature water Why? Thank you.
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251 views

100°C = 100 K =?

I'm in first year. Our class is in lesson " Heat and Thermodynamics". While solving a numerical problem of a reversible engine he told us that 100 degree Celsius is equal to 100 kelvin. I inquired but ...
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339 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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0answers
571 views

Carnot Engine for Finite Reservoirs

Two solid, finite thermal reservoirs have temperatures of $T_1$ and $T_2$ respectively and an engine operates between the two. Assume $T_1 > T_2$ and that each reservoir has constant heat capacity ...
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3answers
234 views

How “things” radiate electromagnetic radiation? [closed]

How things radiate electromagnetic radiation? I don't ask why they radiate (higher temperature than 0K) but how they radiate this electromagnetic waves?
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4answers
1k views

How slow is a reversible adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas?

A truly reversible thermodynamic process needs to be infinitesimally displaced from equilibrium at all times and therefore takes infinite time to complete. However, if I execute the process slowly, I ...
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7answers
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Drying clothes with the sun's heat, without any air

Will my wet clothes dry if I hang them under the sun, and if there is no air around the clothes? In other words, do I need both air and heat to dry wet clothes, or is heat alone (in the imagined ...
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3answers
13k views

Why do lightbulbs continue to glow after the light is turned off?

I've noticed that whenever I turn the lamp off in my room at night, the lightbulb seems to continue to glow for a minute or so after that. It's not bright though; the only way I even notice it is if ...
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3answers
920 views

Best way to chill a cup of coffee with cold water and 5 minutes [duplicate]

Initial data 1 x 3/4 full cup of hot coffee / tea / your favorite morning beverage cold water 5 minutes Considering that it's starting to get hot outside, and we all want to drink reasonably cold ...
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5answers
862 views

Is speed an intensive property?

I remember being taught in elementary physics that while it makes sense to add volumes, masses, or heat, it makes no sense to add temperatures. As I wanted to use that to illustate some other issue, ...
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1answer
297 views

Will entropy continue to increase even if the universe begins to contract?

If the universe is heading for a big crunch, when the universe starts to collapse will entropy decrease and the arrow of time consequently reverse or not? I'm interested in the explanations, not just ...
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607 views

Modification of Newton's Law of Cooling

Yesterday I randomly started thinking about Newton's Law of Cooling. The problem I realized is that it assumes the ambient temperature stays constant over time, which is obviously not true. So what I ...
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1k views

How much more energy does it take for a human body to heat 0C ice vs 0C water?

I'm trying to determine if going through the trouble of ingesting ice is worth the hassle versus ingesting ice-cold water, but my physics skills are rusty. If I drink a gram of ice water at ~0C, my ...
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4answers
13k views

Are specific heat and thermal conductivity related?

Are there any logical relationship between specific heat capacity and thermal conductivity ? I was wondering about this when I was reading an article on whether to choose cast iron or aluminium ...
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3answers
3k views

How long does it take an iceberg to melt in the ocean?

This is a quantitative question. The problem is inspired by this event: On August 5, 2010, an enormous chunk of ice, roughly 97 square miles (251 square kilometers) in size, broke off the Petermann ...
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2answers
2k views

Why isn't water running faster hotter?

I was running the washing up water this morning, and started to think about why the cold tap isn't hot, and why the water doesn't get hotter the faster it is flowing (if anything, the cold tap gets ...
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3answers
2k views

Is there a phase transition between a gas and plasma?

Does a phase transition occur as a gas is heated to create a plasma? If so, is this a first or second order phase transition? Also, does the presence of a phase transition depend on the pressure or ...
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3answers
3k views

Why does deodorant always feel cold?

We all use deodorant and they always feel cold, why is that? Is it because it is liquid inside the bottle and a gas when it is released?
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2answers
709 views

Why isn't the Earth's core temperature the average of its surface temperatures?

Assuming that the earth is spherical, that its temperature is continuous, and that some other more or less realistic conditions hold, we might think that the Earth's core temperature should be about ...
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5answers
3k views

Can I take heat from the air and convert it to electricity?

Its a summer day and the air in my house has been heated up. I could switch on my air conditioning, but then I'd be using energy from the grid in order to reduce the amount of energy in my house. ...
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Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Arrow of Time: Why isn't time considered fundamental?

I've come across this explanation that the "arrow of time" is a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics, which says that the entropy of an isolated system is always increasing. The argument is ...