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22

The answer is a combination of physics and physiology. The warm water in the shower very quickly heats up the air in the shower, and warms up your skin. It also drives up the humidity of the air in the shower. You acclimate very quickly to the temperature/humidity conditions in the shower as being "normal". With the door left open a crack, you allow ...


17

I know black conducts heat while white reflects it. The correct term is "black absorbs light while white reflects it". We have named colors of light we see in the visible spectrum . White reflects most of the energy falling from the visible spectrum, black absorbs it. When the energy of light is absorbed it turns into heat . Any material painted ...


11

The heat energy being moved does not contribute to any global warming. The A/C is simply moving energy from inside to outside; the heat just turns around and flows back into the room, and the total stays the same. It's like someone trying to keep a leaky boat from sinking; you dump some water over the side, and it (or some just like it) leaks back in. A ...


9

You have it backwards. You're coming from the point of view that being black makes something good at absorbing radiation and being white makes it bad and asking why this should be so. It's exactly the other way around: being good at absorbing radiation (in particular, visible light) makes something black; being bad at absorbing radiation (i.e., good at ...


6

The metal rod will become hotter. Only not very much for a large rod. The energy will flow from your fingers to the metal until the temperature of the metal reaches the temperature of your fingers. For a large metal object this will never happen for all practical purposes. For a small object, though, it does happen. If you pick up a dime it will ...


5

If you stick to gases then things are relatively straightforward because the temperature is related to the relative velocity of the gas molecules, that is the velocity of the gas molecules relative to each other. If you put your canister of gas in a fast moving (but non-relativistic) rocket moving at some velocity $v$ then you add the same velocity $v$ to ...


5

No. You wouldn't say that pair of beams has a temperature. Temperature is defined by the zeroth law of thermodynamics, which states that if $A$ is in thermal equilibrium with $B$ and $B$ is in thermal equilibrium with $C$ then $A$ is in thermal equilibrium with $C$ and $A$, $B$ and $C$ are said to have the same temperature. Temperature is fundamentally a ...


5

First question: Is this equation applicable for irreversible processes? From the first law, we have: $$ \mathrm{d} U = \mathrm{d}Q + \mathrm{d}W $$ where $\mathrm{d} U$ is an exact differential, and $\mathrm{d}Q$ and $\mathrm{d}W$ are inexact differentials. It is thus remarkable to see that the sum of of two inexact differentials makes an exact ...


5

When a short circuit happens, provided the source impedance is null, the impedance is only determined by wires and is extremely low (let say resistance $R < 1\Omega$). Therefore, by Ohm's law, if there is no current limitation, the current drawn is high (for example, with $V_\mathrm{rms} = 230\mathrm{V}$, $I_\mathrm{rms} > 230\mathrm{A}$). In this ...


5

It depends on the mass of the molecule in question. Here's a quick, back-of-the-envelope answer. In a body at thermal equilibrium, every energy mode has the same average amount of energy, $\frac12kT$, where $T$ is temperature and $k$ is Boltzmann's constant. One of the energy modes is the translational kinetic energy of a molecule in some direction $x$, ...


5

The easiest solution is to use a fiber-optic camera, i.e. one with a fiber-optic connection between the front lens and the actual camera electronics. You can easily bend the fiber (but not too much!). You can now make a small hole in the microwave (smaller than the wavelength, insert the fiber. Bend the fiber and wrap it in aluminium foil. There will be ...


5

First, strictly speaking a neutron star is not a nucleus since it is bound together by gravity rather than the strong force. Measuring a surface temperature for any star is deceptively simple. All that is needed is a spectrum, which gives the luminous flux (or similar quantity) as a function of photon wavelength. There will be a broad thermal peak somewhere ...


4

What is entropy, more than disorder. Mathematically, entropy is just a measure of spread of a probability distribution: The lower the entropy, the more spiked the distribution. In statistical mechanics, a state is generally only partially defined via some macroscopic constraints, and entropy is a measure of microscopic indeterminacy. Maximizing entropy ...


4

To start with, "water freezes faster when it starts out hot" is not terribly precise. There are lots of different experiments you could try, over a huge range of initial conditions, that could all give different results. Wikipedia quotes an article Hot Water Can Freeze Faster Than Cold by Jeng which reviews approaches to the problem up to 2006 and proposes a ...


4

This happens due to cooling affect of evapourisation. As you must be knowing, the temperature of the lquid is a factor of evapourisation. So as the temperature of hot water is more, the rate of evapourisation is also more. Now this is where thwe cooling effect of evapourisation takes place. As the water evapourates, it takes away some heat thus cooling ...


4

I believe it was Boltzmann who first made the connection between entropy and micro states. chapter 12 of "Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics" by Ashley H. Carter discusses Boltzmann's arguments. To summarize from that book: Entropy ($S$) corresponds to a particular configuration of an ensemble of particles called a macro state. A macro state can be ...


4

As everyone else is saying, if you assume Newton's law of cooling: $$ \dot Q = m c_p \dot T = h A \Delta T $$ The equation for how you heat or cool is an exponential $$ T(t) = T_\infty + \Delta T e^{ -\frac{hA}{mc_p} t } $$ The rate constant for growth (or dying) of temperature is the same (assuming other details of the material don't change much), so ...


4

When a cup of coffee is hot, the air molecules directly above it get hot as well. After some time, they reach equilibrium and no heat transfer (or maybe very little transfer) occurs. By blowing, you disturb that equilibrium and replace the hot air molecules directly above the cup with colder air and therefore create once again a steeper temperature gradient. ...


4

I agree it looks like a transverse wave - like the ripples on a pond. But I believe you are fooled by a simple thing: the waves you are looking at look like "illuminated ripples" but are in reality just changes in temperature (changes in brightness of the sun's surface). If you have a shock wave traveling out across the surface of the sun, what happens? The ...


4

Assuming the tube is insulated along its whole length (which I think is the intent of the question although it's not stated), I think a flow in either direction is stable and sustaining, but there is no particular reason it will form in either direction if the initial conditions are that the air in the tube is still. It will then depend on the average air ...


4

It's the differential relationship between internal energy and entropy: \begin{align} dU &= T\,dS + \cdots \\ \frac{\partial S}{\partial U} &= \frac 1T \end{align} As energy is added to a system, its internal entropy changes. Remember that the (total) entropy is $$ S = k \ln\Omega, $$ where $\Omega$ is the number of available microscopic states that ...


4

You are missing the fact that when I have a lot of air in a tight space, and I then heat it up, I get really high pressure. You have to draw yourself a diagram of pressure vs volume - compressing the cold gas requires a certain $\int P \cdot dV$ of work, but then I heat the gas and the subsequent expansion takes me along a different curve where the work ...


3

Actually, in your rotating torus your are mimicking gravity, which is point outward. I.e. the outside of the torus acts as a floor. The centrifugal acceleration would be $g\approx\omega^2 R$. This $g$ plays the same role as the gravitational acceleration on liquid or gas pressures under normal gravity conditions, so you can say $\Delta p = \rho g h$, or in ...


3

But, as far as I know, colors don't have any special "substance" in them, which might trigger the sudden absorption of heat or reflection of the same. This statement appears to be the crux of your confusion, and it is false. When you paint an object black, or white, or any other color, you coat that object with a thin layer of a substance which, in ...


3

I will give you the argument that is presented in the book I learned from, Physical Gas Dynamics. For reference, it's page 104, Chapter 4 section 6. I present it instead because it does not rely on the Boltzmann distribution for the derivation so perhaps there is some additional insight for you. They established in section 5 that: $$ \frac{N_j^*}{C_j} = ...


3

What I am asking, then, is whether someone on StackExchange might be able to shed some light on the matter as to how there can be a disagreement about something that seems should be a mathematical fact. The main disagreement seems to be about which definition of the word "entropy" in the context of statistical physics is "correct". Definition is an ...


3

We have a perfectly unambiguous definition of temperature for canonical ensembles, and this temperature may be negative in bounded-energy systems. This kind of negative temperature is indisputable, and some would argue it has been realized in spin-inversion experiments. The problem is that there are two decent but imperfect definitions for the entropy of a ...


3

The fundamental equation of thermodynamics says that \begin{equation}\mathrm{d}U = T\mathrm{d}S-P\mathrm{d}V \end{equation} It is a mathematical identity that \begin{equation}\mathrm{d}U = \left(\frac{\partial U}{\partial S}\right)_V\mathrm{d}S+\left(\frac{\partial U}{\partial V}\right)_S\mathrm{d}V \end{equation} Comparing the two we find that ...


3

The showers I have used that have two knobs have something akin to a globe valve for each line As you unscrew the handle, there is more opening between the plug and the body, letting more water through. The resistance of valves like this is quite variable when the plug is near the body. Once the plug is withdrawn a certain amount the resistance is small. ...


3

I believe that in the top you'll find it's the saturated vapor pressure of water. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vapour_pressure_of_water (80 F ~27 C vapor pressure of about 27 mmHg or 27mm/760 mm * 14.7 = 0.52 psi.. not bad.



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