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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Coarse graining on measurement vs phase space (second law)

I've followed Leonard Susskinds series on "the theoretical minimum". In the entropy/reversibility episode in statistical mechanics, he explains (at least one way of) how the apparent paradox of ...
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0answers
17 views

Phase change in a rigid container question [on hold]

Water has a critical specific volume of 0.003155 m3/kg. A closed and rigid steel tank of volume 0.025 m^3 contains a mixture of water and steam at 0.1 MPa. The mass of the mixture is 10 kg. The tank ...
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1answer
91 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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0answers
23 views

Good explanation of phase transitions, second law of thermodynamics [duplicate]

I am looking for a good explanation (website, book, video,...) of phase transitions. I am interested in atmospheric applications (so basically condensation, etc. of water in air). I would like an in ...
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1answer
24 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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3answers
23 views

Is it possible for an electrical device to generate more heat than another using less power or the same?

People are claiming that a Plasma TV uses more power which explains why it uses more heat. We refer to power as wattage in this regard. Countering this, is it possible that a device can draw the same ...
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3answers
66 views

Is Fourier's law of conduction a consequence of the second principle?

In classical thermodynamics courses, entropy is often motivated by the need to justify that heat flows from high temperatures zones to lower temperatures zones: this is seen as a consequence of ...
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3answers
91 views

Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics, temperature, and ordering

In my thermodynamics course (and in other places on the internet) it is asserted that the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics can be used to define the concept of temperature. One statement of the Zeroth ...
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5answers
2k views

Where does deleted information go?

I've heard that, in classical and quantum mechanics, the law of conservation of information holds. I always wonder where my deleted files and folders have gone on my computer. It must be somewhere I ...
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1answer
304 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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1answer
225 views

How does Landauer's Principle apply in quantum (and generally reversible) computing

I understand that a reversible computer does not dissipate heat through the Landauer's principle whilst running - the memory state at all times is a bijective function of the state at any other time. ...
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2answers
388 views

What is the ion drag mechanism in dielectric heating?

While reading about dielectric heating on Wikipedia, I read about the ion drag mechanism but there wasn't enough information about. I know there is another Phys.SE question talking about the ion drag ...
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6answers
966 views

Why is it natural to look for solutions involving dimensionless quantities?

While studying the Heat Equation, I got stuck in a statement in my book. It says: We have seen that the combination of variables $\displaystyle \frac{x}{\sqrt{Dt}}$ is not only invariant with ...
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1answer
67 views

Making fire using a filled water bottle

I have seen videos where a fire was started using a water bottle filled with water. I guess the bottle acts like a convex lens that converges light to a focal point to start a fire. But why does water ...
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1answer
32 views

Calculating height and evaluating the vicinity of a peak in a multiplicity function for a two-state paramagnet

I have to calculate the height and width of the multiplicity function for a two-state paramagnet. I'm supposed to do this analogously to the method in the text book, which I will try to outline below. ...
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1answer
28 views

Thermometer reading

I quickly plunged a room-temperature thermometer into very hot water, the mercury level went down briefly before going up to a final reading. Why?
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2answers
36 views

How to measure the energy consumption class of a home appliance?

Some of you may be familiar with the EU energy consumption classes for domestic appliances (or equivalents in other areas). Let's say we have a domestic appliance which was made before the energy ...
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1answer
65 views

Are temperature increases discrete? [duplicate]

Are temperature increases ever discrete in nature, or is it a continuous variable? If a discrete case exists, is there any material that exhibits particularly strange behavior?
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1answer
31 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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3answers
115 views
+50

Extracting heat energy without a heat engine

Is it possible to extract the molecular kinetic energy from a system directly (without the use of a heat engine / temperature gradient) and convert that to another form of energy, such as electricity, ...
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1answer
50 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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0answers
32 views

Energy from the Feynman-Kikuchi Partition Function

The Feynman-Kikuchi Partition function is given as $$Z_{FK}=K_\beta \int dx \eta(x) \exp \left(-\frac{x}{\beta}\right) $$ where $K_\beta$ is a normalization constant and ...
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1answer
89 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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3answers
374 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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3answers
95 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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4answers
17k views

Why are volume and pressure inversely proportional to each other?

It makes sense, that if you have a balloon and press it down with your hands, the volume will decrease and the pressure will increase. This confirms Boyle's Law, $ pV=k=nRT $. But what if the ...
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0answers
42 views

How much energy would the Human Torch need? [duplicate]

I wasn't sure whether to put this in the SciFi section or here, but since I'm interested in a physical quantity,so I decided to ask it here. I was wondering about approximately how much energy would ...
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2answers
71 views

Mixing mild and cold water, which one to pour first?

Suppose for example that a person like me likes his water in-between. A bit colder than the room temperature but not very cold. If you have a water dispenser that pours rtp water and cold water, which ...
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1answer
34 views

Capacitor-like-thing for controlling temperature of fluid?

I want to minimise the Gibbs' phenomenon like thing i.e. sudden peaks (temperature peaks here) in a container. Assume you have a cone where you want to block the transmittance of the temperature into ...
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1answer
50 views

Dark Matter as possible an explanation for Coronal Heating

It's my understanding that the mechanism behind Coronal Heating - why the Corona is so much hotter (> 1,000,000 K) than the surface of the Sun (6,000 K), and the mechanism by which the energy gets ...
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1answer
65 views

How to use specific heats and temperature change in a system to calculate mass?

In a system where multiple liquids and solids are mixed together with different specific heats at different initial temperatures, reaching an equilibrium temperature, how do all of these things relate ...
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8answers
1k views

What is entropy really?

On this site, change in entropy is defined as the amount of energy dispersed divided by the absolute temperature. But I want to know: What is the definition of entropy? Here, entropy is defined as ...
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0answers
25 views

Simple Conduction Simulation

What is the simplest way to simulate heat conduction on a 2D plane? What I want to do is have 1024x1024 2D plane of uniform temperature 0°C and specify the temperature of a cartesian coordinate. ...
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1answer
100 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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0answers
36 views

Given the Gas, Temperature and Pressure find Volume? [on hold]

Give the specific volume of carbon dioxide at -20 C for 2000 kPa and for 1400 kPa. I am getting ready for Thermodynamics class so I've been reading the textbook and doing some questions, I can ...
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1answer
106 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
79 views

How much energy would it take to maintain the temperature in my pool?

Lets sat that I have a 1000 gallon pool sitting pretty at 82.4 degrees F (28 C). How much energy would it lose on a cold day (50 F or 10 C) and only the top was above ground (25 Sq Feet.) Would ...
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0answers
37 views

Is there an efficiency-optimizing layout of items in a refrigerator? [on hold]

Is there some optimal layout of items, or types of items (characterized by size, shape, density, solid/liquid, etc) that will allow a common household refrigerator to function with optimal energy ...
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2answers
82 views

What to do when you are sitting in a closed room without any fan or AC

I suffered this today, when the solar panels of our college stopped to work. Imagine a situation in which you are sitting in a botany lecture conducted by a 73 year old man, who cannot speak loud and ...
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0answers
53 views

Why is thermodynamic equilibrium not reached by the system during a thermodynamic irreversible process?

In reversible process,due to infinitesimal steps,the system remains in thermal equilibrium(why?) . But in irreversible process, thermal equilibrium does not exist. What is the cause for this ...
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1answer
19 views

Is average air temperature related to near shore water temperature? [on hold]

Basically my wife booked to go on a beach based holiday but cloudy and only warm conditions are predicted for the area- does that mean the water is likely to not warm?- we are sensitive to cold. Its ...
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1answer
68 views

Why does the majority of smoke leave when flames appear?

When I burn wood, paper, or other plant matter, where there is a flame, there generally isn't too much smoke, but it I blow the fire out, smoke starts billowing up. It billows thicker and thicker as ...
2
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1answer
338 views

What defines the adiabatic flame temperature?

What defines the adiabatic flame temperature? In a case I have to solve, I need to describe the combustion of natural gas (Groningen natural gas, to be specific). However, I am having some problems ...
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1answer
48 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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0answers
36 views

Heat transfer to a cube from one of the faces [closed]

Heat Flux= 10 MW Inlet water temperature = 28 degree centigrade for cooling purpose through a tube passing through the centre of retangular block of length 50 mm,height 30 mm and width 30 mm inner ...
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1answer
53 views

How to prove R value for insulation?

I ran some tests on different types of insulation. I heated water, and placed it into an insulated box. The temperature was recorded every minute, for the water, as well as the air. The insulation ...
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2answers
42 views

Liquid Nitrogen Expansion to Desired Temperature

I want to take liquid nitrogen in a pressurized container and spray it through a hose onto objects in a room. The container has a pressure regulator so I can adjust pressure as desired. The ...
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3answers
138 views

How does the evolution of a solar system not break the second law of thermodynamics?

Please forgive: I am a layman when it comes to physics and cosmology, and have tried finding an answer to this that I can understand, with no luck. As I understand it, the solar system evolved from a ...
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2answers
58 views

What is entropy of the universe? [duplicate]

What is entropy of the universe? What is the change in entropy of our universe? Is this change increases or decreases? If the entropy of universe keeps on increasing then what are the consequences? Is ...
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4answers
84 views

Entropy and dark matter structure

Inspired by this question. I believe that the usual explanation that preserves the second law of thermodynamics as an astrophysical gas cloud collapses under gravity is that the gas must heat and ...