# Tag Info

## Hot answers tagged thermodynamics

578

I did the experiment. (dipping wins) H2O ice bath canning jar thermometer pot of boiling water stop watch There were four trials, each lasting 10 minutes. Boiling water was poured into the canning jar, and the spoon was taken from the ice bath and placed into the jar. A temperature reading was taken once a minute. After each trial the water was ...

160

Stirring will win, hands down, every time. This is why physicists need to talk to chemists once in a while. As Georg correctly remarks, the latent heat of vaporization of water is enormous - but he's wrong about waving the spoon; stirring is the champion here. Why? Temperature is really the average kinetic energy of the molecules in the bulk substance, ...

149

The premise is wrong. Not all materials exist in exactly three different states; this is just the simplest schema and is applicable for some simple molecular or ionic substances. Let's picture what happens to a substance if you start at low temperature, and add ever more heat. Solid At very low temperatures, there is virtually no thermal motion that ...

102

Energy is needed to convert water to steam. This is called the latent heat of vapourisation and for water it is 2.26MJ/kg. So to boil away 1kg (about a litre) of water at 100ºC the kettle would need to supply 2.26MJ. Assuming the kettle has a power of 1kW this would take 2260 seconds. Given the unexpected interest in this question let me expand a bit on ...

98

There's a lot of detail you could go into with regard to this question, as is done in the other answers and comments, but I think the answer itself is pretty simple. Imagine a surface that just barely surrounds your body, as if you shrink-wrapped a body in plastic. By the law of conservation of mass (valid in non-relativistic physics), the only way your body ...

97

Air molecules $(\require{mhchem}\ce{N2_}$ and $\ce{O_2})$ have an average speed of around $500\text{ m/s}$, varying some depending on the temperature. This means that a nice $5\text{ m/s}$ wind is a hundred times slower, and the energy represented by wind is 10,000 times smaller than the thermal energy. Therefore, wind does not have considerably more energy ...

93

Thus, the air molecules contribute a small portion of their kinetic energy to the paddle, which is then expended as heat on the other side of the border, making the air molecules on the left colder, while air molecules on the right heat up. Doesn't this mean a decrease in entropy? Yes it does. However, we need to take the thermal noise of the resistor ...

74

There's two main misconceptions in your question that cause your confusion. First, pressure doesn't cause higher temperature. This misconception is probably a result of a massive oversimplification with relation to the ideal gas equation. The actual relation is "increasing the pressure of an ideal gas while volume remains constant increases the temperature ...

70

Short answer: The thermometer measures actual temperature (which is the same for both), while your hand measures the transfer of energy (heat), which is higher for the pot than the air. Long answer: Keyword: Thermal Conductivity The difference is a material-specific parameter called thermal conductivity. If you are in contact with some material (gas, ...

65

The reason is because the heat loss occurs mostly in the windows and the fenestration. The idea is that you would like the incoming air to be heated up. Also, it creates an air curtain that prevents more heat from being lost through these exposed areas. Finally, it makes the temperature of the room more or less uniform. If the heaters were placed at the ...

65

Moonlight has a spectral peak around $650nm$ (the sun peaks at around $550nm$). Ordinary solar cells will work just fine to convert it into electricity. The power of moonlight is about 500,000 times less than that of sunlight, which for a solar constant of $1000W/m^2$ leaves us with about $2mW/m^2$. After accounting for optical losses and a typical solar ...

61

This is a very good question. Einstein himself, in a 1907 review (available in translation as Am. J. Phys. 45, 512 (1977), e.g. here), and Planck, one year later, assumed the first and second law of thermodynamics to be covariant, and derived from that the following transformation rule for the temperature:  T' = T/\gamma, \quad \gamma = \sqrt{1/(1-v^2/c^2)}...

61

It's not so much the pressure, but rather compression that creates heat. Heat is a measure of increased kinetic energy as molecules are forced into a smaller space. Water is not very compressible, and water at the bottom of the ocean is not confined to a significantly smaller space under pressure. The kinetic energy of water molecules at the bottom of ...

56

You blow away the flame from its fuel source. If you would blow less hard the flame might burn harder because more air is supplied to the flame (similar to a Bunsen burner). Because normally the flame of a candle gets its oxygen through a convectional airflow generated by the heat of the flame. The reason why the flame is blown away from the candle is ...

56

By popular demand (considering two to be popular — thanks @Rod Vance and @Love Learning), I'll expand a bit on my comment to @Kieran Hunt's answer: Thermal equilibrium As I said in the comment, the notion of sound in space plays a very significant role in cosmology: When the Universe was very young, dark matter, normal ("baryonic") matter, and light (...

52

Ice cubes have three distinct cooling effects: The cube, initially at sub-zero temperature, absorbs some heat to reach fusion point (0⁰C). The cube absorbs more heat to switch phase: it takes some energy to turn 1 kg of ice at 0⁰C into 1 kg of liquid water at 0⁰C. The water absorbs some heat to become warmer than 0⁰C. The three effects occur more or less ...

51

Essentially, losing of weight occurs by means of burning fuels precisely like your car does when it burns petrol and emits exhaust gases. The only difference is that for humans that fuel is to be found in the form of sugars. The fat is what you want to get ultimately rid off, of course, but sugars are more easily processed and so this is what you are ...

51

Partly practical, the wall under the windows isn't useful for anything else. We had a house where the heaters were placed in the middle of the only empty walls, so nowhere you could put furniture, bookcases, etc. Before double glazing there would be a draft from the windows so the idea was to heat this incoming air by having a radiator immediately below the ...

51

It's obviously not a sharp cut-off, but as a general guide sound waves cannot propagate if their wavelength is equal to or less than the mean free path of the gas molecules. This means that even for arbitrarily low pressures sound will still propagate provided the wavelength is long enough. Possibly this is stretching a point, but even in interstellar gas ...

50

No. Boiling itself doesn't mean that the water will cook anything. If you have boiling water at 30°C you could touch it (if we forget that it's at really low pressure) and nothing would happen. Boiling is not what cooks, but temperature. In fact, if you want to purify water at high altitudes, you need to boil water for a longer time because it will be at a ...

47

This is a very interesting question with a very interesting answer. The key lies in the reason for the stretchiness of the rubber band. Rubber is made of polymers (long chain molecules). When the elastic band is not stretched, these molecules are all tangled up with each other and have no particular direction to them, but when you stretch the elastic they ...

47

Since this is a physics forum I assume the OP is interested in a quantitative answer in terms of the efficiency of the system and how it differs based on the relative positioning of heat sources and heat sinks. The math required to analyzed such a system is too much for me to manage right now, but I believe the following principles apply and are objectively ...

47

Sort of, yes. Ice water is, in fact, a negative-calorie foodstuff and could be used to lose some weight. Fats contain about 37 kJ/gram of energy, drinking one glass of ice water will burn about 37 kJ or up to three times more if you eat some crushed ice as part of drinking the water: so that's 1 gram of fat burned per drink, up to 2-3 if you eat ice. The ...

47

Can we compare alive cells with heat engines at all? No, not really, because the living being isn't only a heat engine. There are three main points I want to make here. 1. Homeostasis Requires Constant Energy Input This statement is especially true and obvious of homeotherms Mammals (Mammaliaformes, descended from the Therapsid Synapsid Amniotes), and ...

46

The next approximation beyond the ideal gas is given by the Van der Waals fluid equation. It is a phenomenological law which takes into account the finite size of the molecules and their interactions with themselves. When you plot several Van der Vaals isotherms for a given substance, you observe that some of them show a phase transition from gas to liquid ...

42

To sustain a fire, you need three factors: fuel, oxygen, and heat. Take away one of the three and the fire goes out. Water removes heat. Most of this "removing heat" is the evaporation - roughly 540 calories / gram, so 7x more heat than is needed to get water from 20°C to boiling (with a tip of the hat to @Jasper for pointing out erroneous value in earlier ...

42

Candle wax expands considerably when hot and molten. So while burning the candle the level in the glass rises. But when the candle is extinguished the outer region (nearest the glass) cools down quicker (candle wax doesn't conduct heat very well) and solidifies first, becoming immobile. The molten remainder then shrinks before solidifying. So it's the ...

41

When you exercise, you "burn" more glucose, the simplified reaction for which (from Wikipedia) is: ${\rm C_6H_{12}O_6 + 6~O_2 → 6~CO_2 + 6~H_2O}$ So when you exhale, the carbon in the carbon dioxide, and the hydrogen and the oxygen in the water vapor, came from the glucose being burned, thereby removing that mass from the body.

41

I'll try to give an answer in purely classical thermodynamics. Summary Heat is a way of accounting for energy transfer between thermodynamic systems. Whatever energy is not transferred as work is transferred as heat. If you observe a thermodynamic process and calculate that system A lost $Q$ calories of heat, this means that if the environment around ...

41

The factors that most matter when you are near lava: The fractional solid angle of lava as subtended at the observer ("how much lava do you see") The temperature of the lava The reflectivity of the clothing you are wearing Any effect of air flow (wind blowing towards lava or away from it) Toxic fumes... In essence, if we treat lava as a black body ...

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