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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Convective heat transfer coeficient equation

I am attempting to model a situation, in which a sphere of some material of identifiable thermal properties is receiving heat at a constant rate. And that material is coming into equilibrium with the ...
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3answers
162 views

Where is the potential energy due to internal interactions in total energy?

In thermodynamics the total energy of a system consists of kinetic energy of motion of the system as a whole, potential energy of the system as a whole due to external force fields, and energy ...
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56 views

Heat engine efficiency, compression ratio vs temperatures

I want to understand the role or even existence of a cold reservoir in the Otto cycle gasoline engine. The efficiency of the Otto engine is given as a function of compression ratio $$ ...
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252 views

Why does blowing on hot coffee cool it down?

And will it cool off faster if you blow across the top of the cup or directly into the coffee? Does it have to do with the fact that when you blow across the top of the cup the velocity of the air ...
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51 views

Confusion on entropy in the universe [closed]

I was researching about the heat-death of the universe, and I was wondering if my understanding of it so far is factual to the theory? However, the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics prevents the universe’s ...
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129 views

Is thermodynamic free energy and potential energy the same thing?

The equation for free energy $F$ and potential energy $E_{pot}$ are: $$ F=U-TS \\ E_{pot} = E_{tot} -E_{kin} $$ But the temperature $T$ is proportional to the average kinetic energy of a system. So ...
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72 views

Ergodic Hypothesis; canonical ensemble

I'm currently studying for an exam in thermodynamics/classic statistical mechanics and 2 things came up which are confusing me. First the ergodic hypothesis states that it is equal to take the mean ...
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198 views

What conditions do a bunch of atoms need to satisfy to have a temperature?

What conditions do a bunch of atoms need to satisfy to have a temperature? Suppose that we have a beam of helium atoms travelling in a common straight line, equally spaced with the same velocity. If ...
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439 views

Mathematical proof of the Second Law of Thermodynamics [duplicate]

Is there some book or paper that formalizes statistical mechanics, like some people have done with relativity, and proves the second law of thermodynamics from more foundational axioms?
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366 views

Do objects gain and lose heat at the same rate?

For example, if I take an item out of the refrigerator, set it on the counter for a period of time, allow it to warm up a bit (but not so long that it reaches room temperature and stabilizes), and ...
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70 views

Does a cooler, submerged in water, keep beer colder, longer?

Looking around the web, I see some submerged bucket-like things, without insulation, and some floating coolers, where the actual cooler is not submerged. Given that your water temperature is lower ...
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119 views

Does the entropy of an adiabatically isolated system stays the same after we decrease/increase the pressure?

Even if the system is isolated and there is no heat exchange with surroundings, shouldn't the decrease/increase of pressure result in increase/decrease of entropy? Does this property of an ...
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1answer
98 views

Boltzmann Distribution of Electrons in Confining Potential

I have a particle simulation wherein many non-interacting electrons are trapped in a electric potential well. I would expect, and therefore I initialize according to this, that the electrons would ...
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30 views

SInce heat is a vibration in solids, isn't it just small scale sound? [duplicate]

On an atomic scale I think of electrons hitting positive ions in an electric lattice. Most energy there is heat energy. If I think of ball bearings flying through a large lattice, I think sound is ...
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209 views

Is this theory about Universe and information true?

I recently saw this video about information and randomness. At some point, it states that a completely predictable universe would infringe the second law of thermodynamics, because it would imply that ...
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1answer
58 views

Canonical ensemble, energy, heat bath

I am studying through the book Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics by Walter Greiner and I’ve got a couple of doubts when I was reading about the classical ensembles, specially the Canonical ...
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1answer
88 views

paradoxical results in different applications of the 2nd law of thermodynamics

Assume two closed systems adjacent to each other together forming one adiabatic system. Both systems are assumed to have their volumes fixed and can therefore communicate with each other through heat ...
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1answer
54 views

On Thermodynamics of Spontaneity of the Reduction-Oxidation Chemical Reactions

According to the first and second law for a closed system containing different chemicals we have \begin{align} &\delta Q - \delta W = dU = T dS - p dV +\sum_i \mu_i d N_i\\ ...
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1answer
35 views

Thermal expansion coefficient times temperature: under which condition is it unity?

In Landau's Fluid Mechanics p. 8 (2nd edition) he writes for the thermal expansion coefficient $\beta = (1/V) (\partial V/\partial T)_P$: For a column of gas in equilibrium which can be taken as a ...
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2answers
81 views

Most ideal Black-body! [duplicate]

According to the definition of Black-body, it absorbs all of the wavelength irradiates on it. A recent material absorbs 96.4% visible light rays. Therefore , can we say that it is the most closest ...
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1answer
713 views

The effect of A/C and global warming

I had been thinking about the way an air conditioning system moves heat from one place to another. The unit runs and drops the temp. in the building and raises the temp. outside. Also there is ...
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2answers
113 views

Evaporative cooling in a tropical environment

I am an architect and am trying to understand the effects of evaporative cooling in a humid climate for buildings. I would like to use the example of a zeer pot for my question. I have read ...
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3answers
117 views

Problems with units of entropy in statistical thermodynamics

The statistical thermodynamics definition of entropy: $S = kN \ln (W)$ troubles me a lot with the problem of dimenstions. where $S$ is entropy; $k$, the Boltzmann constant; $N$ the number of particles ...
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33 views

Modeling an Adiabatic Expansion (EES)

How would one model an isentropic (reversible) adiabatic expansion using thermodynamic software in order to determine isentropic work? What I am looking for is an actual pressure-volume curve for the ...
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483 views

Why does a short circuit generate fire?

When a short circuit occurs it's obvious that there is fire. How come electric energy turns out to be heat energy? What causes the conductors to get hot when short circuit is present.
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2answers
139 views

Any difference between thermodynamic double-derivative and derivative “at constant” value?

Reading about the Maxwell relations has left me confused, and I want a basic sanity check regarding the notation. The Wikipedia article breezes over the following switch of notation without really ...
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What is the deepest cause of the such high specific heat capacity of water?

Yes, I know about the hydrogen bridges. But I think, it isn't the deepest cause. Anyway, they are only second-order bindings, although quite strong. I think, somehow should have the water a ...
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2answers
119 views

Heat loss using alternating current

I am looking for somebody who can explain this to me. As I have read in physics books, the Joule-Lenz Law (Joule effect of heating) is represented by the formula: $$ W = I^2Rt $$ which can be ...
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1answer
49 views

About state function [duplicate]

As I undersand in thermodynamics, a gas with an equation of state $f(V,T,p)=0$ will need only 2 variables (e.g $V$ and $p$) to determine its state. Regarding this question: I still don't ...
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1answer
67 views

At what temperature does air become liquid at a pressure of X bar?

... with X = 6 in my particular case. I was trying to get a phase diagram for air, only got one for nitrogen and was slightly puzzled. Here's why: I was wondering about a particular detail in ...
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4answers
154 views

I still don't understand how a gas with an equation of state f(T,p,V)=0 can change if 2 state functions are fixed?

Just like classical potential, it's stated that equilibrium is obtained when the corresponding thermodynamics potential reaches the minimum. Explicitly, according to Wikipedia, in particular: ...
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3answers
218 views

Existence of negative temperatures and the definition of entropy

How negative temperatures can be possible has been treated on StackExchange before (several times in fact), but in light of some recent academic discussion, most of these answers seem to be possibly ...
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34 views

Gibbs equation and reversibility [duplicate]

The equation $$TdS=dU+PdV$$ is a combination of $$dQ=dU+PdV$$ and $$TdS=dQ.$$ But in some process that is very irreversible, $TdS>dQ$, should we write $$TdS>dU+PdV$$ instead of the first ...
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Is there an alternative metric for isentropic efficiency that remains valid when broken up into multiple segments?

Say that we have an irreversible expansion process which extracts energy, like a turbine. Isentropic efficiency is commonly defined by the following relation, which applies in a similar fashion for ...
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199 views

Problem about entropy

Combining the first and second law of thermodynamics we can get the following equation $$TdS=dU-P_{ext}dV$$ First question: Is this equation applicable for irreversible processes such that that ...
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1answer
111 views

Relativity of simultaneity and the second law of thermodynamics? [closed]

Has the connection been noted between these two? I have been studying special relativity and in learning Minkowski diagrams I have noticed that as v approaches c, the relativity of simultaneity is so ...
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2answers
73 views

How is heat transferred to a thermometer?

Quick question. I can't seem to find a satisfactory answer online. How does a thermometer measure the average kinetic energy of atmospheric air? I assume that the energy is transferred by molecular ...
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1answer
99 views

Calculate TEC efficiency

I am currently doing a small experiment using a Peltier to cool 250ml of water. My aim is to achieve the cooling of 250ml from 23degC to 8degC in under 20minuets which I have done by strapping the ...
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1answer
78 views

Irrotational fluid

Often, when threating some problem of fluid dynamics I have read that people make the approximation of irrotational fluid, i.e. the velocity field is assumed irrotational: $$ \nabla \times \vec{v}=0 ...
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1answer
85 views

Gibbs equation and third law of thermodynamics

I have seen a discussion of what would happen for an ideal gas expands irreversibly and adiabatically until absolute zero degree K. The entropy change is like that: Δs=Cv ln(T2/T1)+R ln(V2/V1) It is ...
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293 views

Thermal Conductivity of Metals

My textbook says on conduction: These 'free' electrons can rapidly carry energy from the hotter to the cooler regions of the metal, so metals are generally good conductors of heat. A metal rod at ...
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1answer
53 views

A gas close to zero Kelvin

Consider an adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas that work is done against friction or a piston. Since no heat exchange can occur the gas keep on losing energy and its temperature decreases and the gas ...
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53 views

Difference between Residual Function and Excess Property

Sengers describes the deviation function as the difference of the actual mixture property and as determined from a model. If this model happens to be the ideal gas model, then it is also called ...
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3answers
195 views

In what limit do we *really* get Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics from Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac?

Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein energy occupation number $n(\epsilon)$ in natural units ($[T]=[\epsilon]$) read $$n(\epsilon) = \frac{D(\epsilon)}{e^{(\epsilon-\mu)/T}\pm 1},$$ where $D(\epsilon)$ is ...
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Supercritical Steam Expansion [closed]

Ten kg of steam at 500 bar is expanded at constant pressure until its volume increases to seven times its initial value of 0.01 $m^3 $. (a) Calculate the initial and final temperature of the steam ...
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1answer
2k views

Why do I feel cold air in the shower?

Our house has a glass sliding door to the shower. The shower has the dimensions of about 2 feet wide, 5 feet long, and 6 feet high. Above the door (and shower head) there is about 1 foot of open space ...
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1answer
181 views

What's the most fundamental definition of temperature?

What's the most fundamental definition of temperature? Is it the definition concern about average energy, number of micro states, or what? By "fundamental", I mean "to be applied" in such general ...
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1answer
52 views

Does stew lose more liquid if stirred as it cools?

Suppose I cook a stew or soup and then take it off of the stove and leave it uncovered to cool. Of course, it will cool faster if I stir it (more surface area), but it will, eventually, cool to room ...
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1answer
59 views

Power required to keep a freezer at constant temperature

Alright, I'm completely stuck on this and so is everyone else I've asked. A freezer has a temperature Tc = -23℃. The air in the kitchen has a temperature Th = 27℃. The freezer in not perfectly ...
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2k views

Black and white matters. But why and how?

I know black conducts heat while white reflects it. But they are colors after all. If a metal is painted black, it conducts more heat or at a rapid speed than it would do before it was coated. But, ...