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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125 views

How to use the first law of thermodynamics for simple mechanical systems?

I'm confused about what exactly is $Q$ and $U$ and their signs. Consider a block initially having some kinetic energy which we stop and we want to find by how much amount its temperature increases. ...
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1answer
124 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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0answers
42 views

Why the non-analyticity of free energy function implies phase transition? And what's its connection with other 'higher level' free energies?

I have seen 'free energy' arising from several contexts in very different forms, and each contains different amount of information. For example free energy is defined as the logarithm of the ...
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7 views

Why is the heat transferring best from within the tube within a tube-heat exchanger

If you've got gas and cooler fluid, you'd run the gas through the tubes, because the gas has a lower h-value. Inside a tube heat-exchanger it is said that the best heat transfer is from within the ...
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30 views

How to relate internal energy to atomic motion?

I am trying to conceptualize how atomic motion leads to the thermodynamically-defined internal energy (denoted as $U$ below) through some broad mathematical relationships. I get that the internal ...
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1answer
17 views

What causes the black shimmering bands on a sun-lit surface?

I can't figure it out. I thought it was the window causing it, but even without it it happened. It seems to be the motion of the air that causes it, but why shimmering black bands? Sometimes this ...
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24 views

Thermodynamics of a rubber band

I have a streched rubber band and I know that tension f is proportional to the temperature T when the length is constant. How can I proove that internal energy is only a function of temperature? I ...
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21 views

How complex is an energy balance for this problem?

Let's say I have an enclosed room in the shape of a box with forced airflow on the outer walls at an ambient temperature. Each end of the room (forward and rear) has a vent that ducts in warm air to ...
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1answer
16 views

Measured temperature (thermometre set to emissivity of 1) of smooth surface too high or to low?

We want to measure the temperature of a smooth flat surface with a thermometre based on absorption of thermal rays. The emissivity setting of the thermometre is set to 1 (same as a black surface), ...
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4answers
15k views

Why does a gas get hot when suddenly compressed? What is happening at the molecular level?

My guess is that the molecules of gas all have the same speed as before, but now there are much more collisions per unit area onto the thermometer, thus making the thermometer read a higher ...
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46 views

Newton's law of cooling for the heat equation boundary condition

Newton's law of cooling says the temperature of an object satisfies $$ \frac{dT}{dt} = -k(T(t) - T_0),\tag{1} $$ where $T_0$ is the surrounding temperature. See these HTML notes for example. Now if ...
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1answer
79 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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2answers
146 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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1answer
20 views

Thermo - Plotting constant pressure and temperature on a Pv and Ts diagram

I was just curious what the saturation curve for water (plotting pressure versus specific volume) would look like if you drew both a line of constant pressure as well as constant temperature. I am ...
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1answer
83 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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2answers
229 views

Is the second law of Thermodynamics an immense tautology?

Let's imagine for a second a system that is changing constantly from one microstate to another one. It could be a given volume of a gas with its atoms moving and bouncing around, or a deck of cards ...
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1answer
43 views

Second law of thermodynamics (in terms of entropy)

Is the second law of thermodynamics (in terms of entropy) for closed systems or isolated systems? I thought it must be valid for isolated systems, such as the Universe. But the book Fundamentals of ...
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1answer
657 views

Pressure vs Volume Calculation for air

I have 1 litre of air in a sealed container at atmosphere pressure (approx 15 psi absolute). I want to reduce pressure in the container by 1 psi ( 14 psi absolute or -1 psig). If I understand ...
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2answers
22 views

Charles Law inverse for cooling?

Is the inverse of Charles law also true? If I double the volume, the temperature will be halved? In the fire service we ventilate a structure by opening up the ceiling to the attic. If the volume of ...
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1answer
38 views

Does it mean the molecules of all matter above absolute zero temperature are moving? [duplicate]

According to my knowledge, heat is the energy that is stored in form of kinetic energy of molecules in Brownian motion. However, in a macroscopic view, a rigid body seem to be "stable" but still store ...
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3answers
87 views

Clausius statement of the 2nd Law

I'm slightly messed up with the Clausius statement of the 2nd Law. I've seen at least two versions, which seem to be conceptually different. a) It is impossible to transfer heat from a colder body ...
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1answer
21 views

Monoatomic fluids and free space around atoms

In monoatomic fluids the atoms can move quite freely around each other. Is there any thermodynamic/statistical mechanic equation how much free space there is between the atoms? This has to be ...
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4answers
7k views

How do you determine the heat transfer from a P-V diagram?

I doubt this question has been addressed properly before, but if there are similar answers, do direct them to me. I am currently studying the First Law of Thermodynamics, which includes the p-V ...
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3answers
146 views

Where does air pressure come from?

Where does air pressure come from? I thought it was from gravity or the speed of the gas resulting from its heat. However, analyzing my own hypotheses, I think that my 'heat conjecture' is probably ...
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27 views

Heat transfer coefficients

I am trying to make a model of non-stationary heating on a plate and I have questions considering coefficients. I am using explicit method to solve it (have to use it). I am not sure if I am using the ...
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1answer
41 views

Could you make a system that exchanges matter but no thermodynamic energy?

Normally we distinguish between open, closed and isolated systems, assuming that the 4th possibility does not exist, as an exchange of matter presupposes energy exchange. Could it be nevertheless ...
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3answers
63 views

Is heat from a stovetop, transfered through convection, radiation or conduction?

It doesn't appear to be convection, as there are no moving objects (or are there); probably not radiation (?), so it is conduction? I really don't know much about heat transfer and thermodynamics, ...
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2answers
24 views

Confusion regarding latent heat of fusion

During vaporizing there is higher increase in internal energy (higher positive $\Delta U$) and more work is done by the liquid (higher $W$) as molecules become widely separated. During melting, there ...
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2answers
232 views

Why energy at room temperature $= kT$ and not $(3/2)kT$ [duplicate]

I always see that a room temperature of $T=300\,\text{K}$ corresponds to an energy of $k_BT \approx \frac{1}{40}\,\text{eV}$. But shouldn't it be $\frac{3}{2}k_BT$ since the molecules in the air have ...
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1answer
161 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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1answer
29 views

Is this the correct entropy? [on hold]

In order to take a nice warm bath, you mix $50$ liters of hot water at $55^{\circ} C$ with $25$ liters of cold water at $10^{\circ} C$. How much new entropy have you created by mixing the water? What ...
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1answer
76 views

Which function denotes the energy of thermal motion within a system?

In thermodynamics, the heat $Q$ is defined as a type of energy in transfer, and is not a state function, which function denotes the energy of thermal motion within a system? 1) $TS$, (there is a ...
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24 views

Internal reversibility

The concept of reversibility always gives me a hard time.In a reversible process the change of entropy is zero. On the other hand for irreversible process it is not.But there comes another topic which ...
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1answer
158 views

Liquid column “recoils” in a sealed cylinder when hit by a piston — is it possible?

Consider a cylinder filled partially with a liquid (e.g. water). The cylinder is sealed, and is at held at room temperature (e.g 298K). At equilibrium (or when no external disturbance is imparted to ...
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1answer
140 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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3answers
7k views

How air humidity affects how much time is needed for heating the air?

In cold weathers it is suggested to put a humidifier since the air gets too dry. I wonder how the humidity affects how much time is needed to get the air at a temperature of 20 Celsius degrees? I mean ...
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1answer
1k views

How long would it take for a smelly object to evaporate?

This question is a follow on from this deleted one: http://physics.stackexchange.com/q/177894/26076 as I was writing what I thought to be a valid physics answer to it. Version 1 of this question ...
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0answers
29 views

Is the Landau Free Energy U-TS or βH?

I'm having a hard time figuring out the physical meaning of the Landau Free Energy density: $$f(\phi,\nabla\phi,T) = \frac{1}{2}|\nabla\phi |^2 + \frac{a(T-T_c)}{2}|\phi |^2 + \frac{b}{4}|\phi |^4$$ ...
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1answer
28 views

A question about Thermodynamics [on hold]

Burning fuel in car engine produce more heat or burning that fuel in free space?
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24 views

Evaporation of water [on hold]

assuming no wind involved and using 100 psi steam in a 1.5" diameter, submerged pipe, how much 180 degree F water can be evaporated per hour per lineal foot of pipe?
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2answers
41 views

What--is the Ultimate Limit of heat based off c? [duplicate]

As heat goes up, molecules start moving at a faster rate. A gas molecule, if unhindered, could speed across the United States in three hours. I don't even want to know about plasma. But if heat ...
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0answers
17 views

How to find the enthalpy if I have the pressure and temperature? [closed]

There is a refrigerator with R-134a as the working fluid. The R134a enter the evaporator at P=100kPa, quality =0.2 and it leaves at P=100kPa, T=-26 degree Celsius How can I find out the ...
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3answers
93 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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1answer
13 views

If Ionic crystals are heated up, where does the energy go?

Ionic crystal are poor conductors of heat, due to lack of delocalised electrons. So if they are heard up where does the heat go? Does it get dumped in the potential well created by interatomic ...
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1answer
32 views

Double Pipe Heat Exchanger

I have a metal plate and I need to transfer heat out of the metal plate to the atmosphere. Hence, I can use a double pipe heat exchanger which contains 2 pipes. But what if I just use one pipe and let ...
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4answers
4k views

Can you make ice red hot?

This video clip allegedly shows an otherwise unspecified ice cube that turns red hot (and burns) due to induction heating. Can somebody explain how this works?
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31 views

Canonical or microcanonical ensemble?

What of this ensembles is more honest with natural thermal equilibrium? In microcanonical ensemble the sample is isolated, and we don't now the precise value of energy. By this considerations we have ...
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0answers
14 views

Is this the energy balance for this problem? [on hold]

I am working on a school project and I have to cool equipment that are in an enclosure that is in the living room of a house. I have an exhaust fan that draws cold air from outside the house (ambient) ...
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3answers
166 views

Interpretation of systems in different state of matters BUT almost identical configuration

For a start, let me clarify that by "almost identical configuration" I mean same volume, temperature and number of molecules (but different pressure). One could for instance take two identical systems ...
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4answers
1k views

The unreasonable effectiveness of the partition function

In a first course on statistical mechanics the partition function is normally introduced as the normalisation for the probability of a particle being in a particular energy level. ...