# Tag Info

## Hot answers tagged thermodynamics

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

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

With the same argument, I could deduce (and I know that it's wrong) that the cold air above is denser, so it will go down, pressing the hot air away sideways. Replace your hot air with a helium balloon. You can see there's no force on the balloon to push it sideways. The buoyancy forces it to accelerate upward (and some cool air around it to accelerate ...

39

You feel cold when heat is flowing from you to the surroundings, your body tries to burn more energy to keep up your temperature, so you shiver. Water conducts heat much more effectively than air (more than 100x as well) so even with water at the same temperature as air you will lose a lot more heat and feel cold. When your body is too hot it losses energy ...

34

This ratchet-like Maxwell's demon has the same problem as all of the other ones: the door/coil mechanism itself will heat up, and become useless. Before thinking about this one, think about the simpler scenario where there's just a door, that opens if a fast particle hits it hard enough. Since particles have energy on the order of $kT$, the door must ...

32

Do black holes violate the first law of thermodynamics? No. See Wikipedia re the first law of thermodynamics: "The first law of thermodynamics is a version of the law of conservation of energy, adapted for thermodynamic systems. The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from ...

32

The ultimate answer to a "why" physics question is "because". Physics is about observing and measuring nature and then finding mathematical models that fit the measurements and predict new behaviors under different conditions. Because we have observed these four states of matter. we have formulated mathematical theories called thermodynamics and quantum ...

31

That is simply convection. The wick does suck molten wax, and it goes up by capillary to the middle of the flame, but that movement is way to slow to explain the fast particles in your video. Moreover they are moving in the opposite direction! Convection happens because the wick is hot, and it makes the wax around also hot, so the wax expands a little and ...

29

Firstly, to make a valid comparison between how water and air 'feels' on your skin, two conditions would need to be met: Both water and air would have to be at exactly the same temperature. That temperature would have to be lower than human body temperature (strictly speaking skin temperature). If those conditions are met then water would certainly feel ...

28

Has Musk done his homework? With regard to the basic idea of using nuclear weapons to release CO2 and thereby warm Mars, no, he hasn't. I suspect this was either Bored Elon Musk speaking, or perhaps the Elon Musk who didn't quite deny being a super villain ( 1-900-MHA-HAHA Elon Musk?) in that interview with Colbert. CO2's enthalpy of sublimation is about ...

28

We can understand all of this business if we visit the statistical mechanics notion of temperature, and then connect it to experimental realities. Temperature is a Lagrange multiplier (and should have dimensions of energy) First we consider the statistical mechanics way of defining temperature. Given a physical system with some degree of freedom $X$, ...

27

I'm really winging this one because the last time I did an equilibrium calculation was 35 years ago! But I'm fairly sure of a partial answer (see discussion at end). A gas's solubility in water (or liquid generally) almost always decreases with increasing temperature. This phenomenon is explained in a way very like the explanation of the increase in ...

23

Well first you have the energy in the form of kinetic energy of the spinning water. Once you let that water settle, it DOES get hotter. The only problem is that water has a high specific heat (it takes a LOT of energy to heat up water), so you don't notice the water getting hotter since the amount it's heating up is not very noticeable. Coincidentally, it ...

23

Getting from gas to liquid is a matter of interparticle interaction winning over thermal agitation. There are several reasons why interparticle interactions are very weak in the case of helium atoms. On one hand, it is a noble gas and thus cannot form covalent bonds. On the other hand, it is very light hence highly non-polarizable: its Van der Waals ...

22

I think you are right. A perhaps more precise relation between temperature and velocity is the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution: \begin{equation*} P(\textbf{v}) = \left( \frac{m}{2\pi k_B T} \right)^{3/2} \text{exp} \left[-\frac{m ( \textbf{v} - \textbf{v}_0)^2}{2 k_B T} \right]. \end{equation*} where you see that the mean velocity $\textbf{v}_0$ and the ...

20

Colder water is denser until it reaches a temperature a couple degrees above freezing, then it gets lighter again. So the water at the bottom is at the specific temperature where it is densest: any heating makes it rise. Any further cooling makes it rise. See Why does the ocean get colder at depth? This further points out that without ocean circulation ...

19

Ice can be denser than water for certain values of $P,T$. Look at these two pictures taken from here: The darker areas in the second picture denotes areas of greater density. So you can clearly see that when pressure is increased, ice becomes denser than water along the coexistence line. For example at $T=400$ K ice VII is clearly denser than water ...

18

In a sense, there is only one fixed point. Look to the definition (http://www.bipm.org/en/CGPM/db/13/4): The kelvin, unit of thermodynamic temperature, is the fraction 1/273.16 of the thermodynamic temperature of the triple point of water. There's a lot hiding in that simple definition. One key concept is that of thermodynamic temperature. A ...

17

Microscopically, both the water molecules in the air and the water molecules on the clothing are rapidly moving around due to their thermal energy. Every once in a while, a molecule on the clothing will have enough energy to break free; every once in a while, a molecule in the air will stick to your clothes. Because the humidity in your room is less than 100%...

17

Basically the existence of different states of matter has to do with Inter-molecular forces, Temperature of its surroundings and itself and the Density of the substance. This image below shows you how the transition between each states occur (called Phase transitions). These transitions occur based on the change in temperature of the substance Now if ...

16

TL; DR The material with the greater effusivity will be more likely to burn you upon contact. Analysis of a simplified case First consider the case where your palm comes into contact constant temperature wall. Often, we can consider your palm as a semi-infinite solid. The requirement for the semi-infinite approximation is that \$T(x \rightarrow \infty, t) = ...

15

Your description of critical temperature isn't quite right. If you increase the temperature of a liquid beyond the critical point, the atoms are moving so quickly that persistent structure fails to form and so you have something that behaves a lot like a very dense gas. Similarly, if you increase the pressure of a gas beyond the critical point, it becomes ...

14

The most immediate answer would seem to be that a great variety of different crystal phases can exist because their long-range order makes it possible to classify them based on the different symmetries of their lattice structure. Since the liquid (or amorphous solid) phase only has short-range order and the gaseous phase doesn't even have that, it seems ...

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