Questions tagged [equilibrium]

Equilibrium is the condition of a system in which all competing influences are balanced. These can range from forces (static/dynamic equilibrium), to chemical processes (chemical equilibrium) and temperature gradients (thermal equilibrium).

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Why is the Earth so fat?

I made a naive calculation of the height of Earth's equatorial bulge and found that it should be about 10km. The true height is about 20km. My question is: why is there this discrepancy? The ...
3k views

Why are thermodynamic potentials minimised?

Why is it that, at equilibrium, certain potentials are minimised? That is, for a system at constant temperature and pressure, the Gibbs free energy is minimised, and for fixed volume and temperature, ...
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Prove that negative absolute temperatures are actually hotter than positive absolute temperatures

Could someone provide me with a mathematical proof of why, a system with an absolute negative Kelvin temperature (such that of a spin system) is hotter than any system with a positive temperature (in ...
772 views

Assumptions of thermodynamic & chemical equilibrium in fluid-dynamics

I am reading about the Euler equations of fluid dynamics from Leveque's Numerical Methods for Conservation Laws. After introducing the mass, momentum and energy equations, some thermodynamic concepts ...
4k views

Is thermodynamics only applicable to systems in equilibrium?

So I was going through callen's thermodynamics book and their he says that thermodynamics is only applicable to systems which are in equilibrium and that naturally raised a few questions in my mind ...
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How are the Lagrange points determined?

According to Hyper Physics, there are 5 equilibrium, or Lagrange points of the Earth-Moon system and only 2 of them are said to represent stable equilibrium points. This made me think if there is an ...
31k views

Why does the nature always prefer low energy and maximum entropy?

Why does the nature always prefer low energy and maximum entropy? I've just learned electrostatics and I still have no idea why like charges repel each other. http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/...
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16k views

Why do rain drops fall with a constant velocity?

While reading my physics book. I came across a line that says that: Rain drop falls with a constant velocity because the weight(which is the force of gravity acting on body) of the drop is balanced ...
6k views

Estimate the reaction force on each leg of a 4-legged table

Assume you have a table with four legs with a weight placed somewhere inside the boundary created by the legs. The task is to determine the reaction force at each leg. Here are the problem ...
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Adiabatic piston: why is Callen's argument flawed?

This question is related to this one. I would ask you to read that question and my answer to the question itself before answering this one. The problem is the following. In his book Thermodynamics, ...
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Is this formula for the energy of a configuration of 3 fluids physically reasonable?

I have studied for a couple of months now a mathematical model of the energy of a configuration of immiscible fluids situated in a fixed container such that the fluids fill the container. In other ...
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1k views

Could a gas be in thermodynamical equilibrium even with a gravitational field?

Let us consider a cylinder filled with ideal gas, and let us assume that the gravitational field is parallel to one of its sides, well in this case, how would the system be in equilibrium? Suppose ...
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510 views

Three-log problem [closed]

Three uniform round rigid cylindrical logs of the same size and weight are placed on a horizontal plane. The two at the bottom are touching each other, the third one is placed on the top as shown in ...
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Is bouncing ball (100% collision) an oscillatory motion/SHM or both or none?

My teacher told me bouncing ball (100% elastic) is oscillatory motion that does not have a stable equilibrium position and restoring force. It is just to and fro motion and thus called oscillatory ...
8k views

Why are excess charges in a conductor at the surface?

I’ve been told that coulomb repulsion pushes excess electrons to the surface of a conductor (i.e. sphere) electrostatic equilibrium, and this symmetry causes the net electric field inside to be zero. ...
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