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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Thermodynamic relations from Gibbs-Duhem

Given the Gibbs-Duhem relation $V dp = N d \mu + S dT$, I am having trouble deriving the following identity: $\ \left(\frac{\partial N}{\partial \mu}\right)_{V,T} = N \left(\frac{\partial ...
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55 views

Find Solution to the Heat Equation with Bessel Functions and Initial Values

I'm trying to find the time dependent solution to the heat equation in a very long cylinder (the problem only depends on radius, r, and time, t) with the initial value $T(r,0)=T_1$ and the Dirichlet ...
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264 views

Hysteresis and dissipation

Hysteretic phenomena are often linked to dissipation. When there is an hysteresis loop, the dissipated energy can usually be computed as the area of the cycle. For example, in ferromagnetic ...
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94 views

Why doesn't a Brownian ratchet provide free energy?

A Brownian ratchet is described here at Wikipedia. The "why it fails" section reads: Feynman demonstrated that if the entire device is at the same temperature, the ratchet will not rotate ...
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89 views

Simple estimation of the critical temperature of water

I'm trying to develop fermi estimation skills and I came up with a question for which I don't even know where to start from. Here goes: Is it possible to estimate the critical temperature (say in ...
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1answer
131 views

Rayleigh-Taylor Instability dependence on acceleration direction

I'm trying to bolster my understanding of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, and I've gotten stuck on the point of which fluid (more or less dense) is being accelerated into the other. Cases of uniform ...
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151 views

Amount of energy to separate Gases - relationship to concentration

I want to understand the efficiencies of separating mixed gases, and for that I want to understand the thermodynamic limit case. Looking at the wikipedia page for entropy of mixing, I find the ...
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339 views

Does a negative line tension in a 3-fluid immiscible interface make sense?

This question is inspired by this question/answer pair: Is this formula for the energy of a configuration of 3 fluids physically reasonable? Consider three immiscible fluids forming contact surfaces, ...
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437 views

Coffee cooling in a cup

Will coffee in two differant size styrofoam cups in the same room conditions cool at the same rate? One cup is 8 oz. and the other would be 12 oz.
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54 views

Why does ice melts faster near the surface of water?

I had a few frozen bottles and while they were melting I saw this: in all of the bootles, the ice seems to get thiner near the surface. I have searched a bit and I've found this video that shows ...
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69 views

How to move liquid uphill against a thermal gradient, without moving parts

I am looking for a conceptual way of dealing with the following. I am not looking for a set of blueprints. Consider a 5 meter x 10 cm vertical closed tube filled with a substance in the gas and ...
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124 views

Does air conduct heat better than saturated steam?

This engineering toolbox table shows thermal conductivity of steam at 0.016. I understand that water is better in conducting heat than air, but if I read this correctly, steam is worse in conducting ...
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97 views

Which air will give more effective cooling ? Dry or Moist?

Yesterday, I had an innovative idea. I live in India, and in summer season, the temperature can reach up to 45 degree Celsius. We use Split 1.5 Ton AC in our small office. The idea is to put an ...
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137 views

Thermodynamics, chaperones : How to model polymer fragmentation

Living polymers are well described by equilibrium statistical physics. Now I would like to consider a case were living polymers undergo fragmentation due to chaperones. I can think of a kinetic ...
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1answer
318 views

Heat transfer in a pipe

I have a gas (assuming air) at T = 500 K that enters a cylindrical pipe. The outlet target temperature is 330K. There will be heat transfer via: Forced convection from the gas to the inside of the ...
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553 views

Difficulties with understanding total entropy change and unavailabillty

Of course, I know the fact that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases. Neverthless what makes me confused about the entropy(or change of entropy) of an isolated system is the explanation ...
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2k views

Finding electric power generated using heat transfer

I'm working through an example I have been given to study. Suppose I have a 2m X 4m photovoltaic panel on my roof that is irradiated with a solar flux of $G_s = 700W/m^2$. Given: $\alpha_s = 0.83$ ...
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41 views

Why temperature of liquid drops after spraying thru a nozzle?

We have tested in our lab as mentioned in the picture. We connected hot water at 130degree F at 40Psig to a nozzle(bottle sprayer).we measured the temperature differences inside tank and after ...
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27 views

Heat diffusion equation with time dependent specific heat capacity

What is the correct form of the heat diffusion equation in 1D if we take into account the temperature dependency of specific heat capacity? $$ \rho\frac{d(cT)}{dt} = ...
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60 views

Energy conservation of permanent magnets engine

How to explain the fact that magnet can attract an object (apply a work W) without losing a (significant) part of its internal energy? How to apply the energy conservation principle? Please think to ...
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43 views

How did steady-state universe deal with entropy?

Until the 1960's the general consensus was that the universe is infinite years old (steady-state). The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy always increases, so we'd expect that within a ...
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1answer
35 views

Reversible and Quasi static processes

Do we have any proof that reversible processes are always quasi static or is it just a fact that hasn't been violated till date? If there is a proof then please provide a link.
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24 views

pV work in reversible processes. Why is $p_{ext}=p_{internal}$ in a contraction?

My textbook uses newtons third law to say to prove this. I think that's completely wrong. What I think happens is that we are doing an approximation that $p=p+dP$. In case you haven't figured it out, ...
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21 views

Is the ratio of heat transfers always given by the same function?

In deriving the thermodynamic temperature scale, it uses the concept that heat transfer between two reservoirs is the function of the reservoirs' temperatures. i.e. $\frac{Q_1}{Q_2}=Φ(T_1,T_2)$. And ...
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185 views

What is the fastest way to heat my car?

During the winter months I often have to drive in a cold car and I want to warm up as fast as possible. What is the best setting to put the air on in order to warm up the entire cabin in the least ...
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1answer
33 views

efficiency of a stirling engine with spring

I have used the concept of stirling engine with a spring instead of any gas to make an engine....i want to calculate the efficiency of it...here's a pic:
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114 views

Heat Transfer and Thermal Energy

Some hot water radiators have a single pipe connected to them. The steam comes to the radiator and the water leaves in the same pipe. The steam and the water are both at a temperature of 100°C. Where ...
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1answer
251 views

Calculating rate of vaporization of water

Let there be a cylindrical vessel with diameter D that only has liquid water and water vapor as the picture below shows (The water vapor is the grey portion and the liquid water is the blue portion). ...
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47 views

Best airflow stategy for cooling a confined area?

I am working on a machine which has an upper side which processes a product. On the lower side of the machine there are a couple of motors with built in inverters and there is a laser unit. There are ...
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1answer
116 views

Heat Equation with In-Depth Radiation Exact Solution

I am looking to solve the heat conduction equation in a semi-infinite solid with in-depth radiation on the domain $-\infty < x < 0$. The governing equation of this problem is: $$\rho c ...
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1answer
34 views

Is every imaginable quasi-static locus (with non-decreasing entropy) physically realisable?

If I have an isolated composite system which is dependent on several extensive properties (say $U_i, V_i$ and $N_i$ for each subsystem $i$) then a quasi-static locus is just a continuous curve through ...
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1answer
80 views

Why does Air Pressure not Matter in Phase Equilibrium?

So long as we are in the ideal gas range, the presence of air does not affect the liquid/solid-vapour equilibrium in any way (such as equilibrium vapour pressure, melting point etc.). Is there a ...
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1answer
42 views

How do I set up the tridiagonal matrix for a heat diffusion with layers of different thermal diffusivity?

I have Scala code that recreates the Crank-Nicolson solutions for the diffusion equations, and matches 'Excel for Scientists and Engineers' (Joe Billo, Wiley). However, I would like to be able to ...
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1answer
42 views

Does no variables change in an adiabatic + isothermal system?

Adiabatic + isothermal = no heat and temperature change. Does that mean the system will remain as it is? If it is adiabatic + isovolumetric or adiabatic + isobaric , is it as well no change in any ...
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646 views

Comparison between isobaric, isothermal and adiabatic expansion

Please check if my understandings of these terms are right because they are a bit confusing to me. For all three types of expansions, a change in volume means work is done by the system to the ...
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1answer
76 views

Spontaneity / Free Energy of Non-Isothermal Process

I'm trying to determine a lower bound for the work input necessary to make an entropy-reducing process "spontaneous" in the sense that the 2nd law is not violated. For a constant temperature and ...
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1answer
64 views

Chemical potentials for multicomponent solids

I have a problem understanding how to deal with the chemical potential when two thermodynamic systems are in contact. For simplicity, let us consider $T=0\ K$. We have a system that is composed of two ...
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1answer
51 views

Spherical Shaped Electrical Leads for Thermal Conductivity Mitigation?

I am designing a thermionic converter and one of the biggest inefficiencies is the thermal conductivity and limited electrical conductivity of the leads. I'm trying to mitigate the loss of heat ...
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1answer
70 views

Why is the outside run of high presure line on a ductless mini-split airconditioner insulated?

On every ductless mini-split air conditioner I've ever seen, both the high and low pressure lines are insulated between the compressor and the building. It seems like the liquid refrigerant coming ...
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1answer
146 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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1answer
104 views

What causes a heat generating source to stabilize at a certain temperature? (Answered by myself, I think)

For example, we out a heat sink on a microprocessor to keep it cooler. I understand that if we run 100 watts of electricity through the microprocessor, it will generate 100 watts of heat, or 100 ...
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1answer
457 views

Otto cycle efficiency described in pressure ratio (instead of compression ratio)

The Otto cycle's thermodynamic efficiency is often described using the compression ratio: $$\eta_{th} = 1 - \left( \tfrac{1}{CR} \right ) ^ {k-1},$$ (where CR is the compression ratio, and k the ...
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1answer
31 views

Is using water in a charcoal smoker less efficient than not using water?

I have a charcoal smoker that uses water. My understanding is that the water serves as a buffer and as a way to add moisture to the cooking environment. Some say that using water wastes fuel because ...
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1answer
136 views

How does enthalpy help us to find the state of equilibrium?

For an adiabatic system with constant external (generalized) forces, in a state out of equilibrium we have: $$\delta H\leq 0 $$ If I understand correctly, derivation of this inequality does not rely ...
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1answer
162 views

Calculating phase diagrams (Calphad)

I am calculating the phase diagrams for Li-Mg binary alloy with reference to the following text: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=5600701 In the equation used in the above ...
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1answer
345 views

Triple point temperature and freezing point

Why does the triple point temperature have very similar values to the freezing point, in most substances?
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1answer
1k views

Carnot efficiency, coefficient of performance for a refrigerator

I was reading that a new type of refrigerator might reach a coefficient of performance (COP) of 10. This seems quite the achievement and the authors state that their approach might achieve a Carnot ...
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1answer
237 views

Maxwell's Demon bug, trapdoor space and time

What about the size of the door (space) and how long has it to be opened (time)? I think Maxwell's demon would have a problem with space, if the door is too wide (more than one particle size), then ...
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1answer
27 views

High pitched noise as hot object hits water?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qSEfcIfYbw Just wondering what this phenomenon was called, and its cause? Would have googled, but I don't even know what it's called.
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31 views

Gibbs free energy for an ideal gas (problem)

so I'm trying to find the gibbs free energy for an ideal gas $$g = u -Ts + pv $$ Hence, $$dg = du -Tds -sdT +pdv +vdp = -sdt + vdp$$ The entropy is $$s = c_{p} \ln T -R \ln P + s_{o}$$ Which ...