Questions tagged [equilibrium]

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Equilibrium between Steam and Ice

Problem Statement: $15 \ g$ of steam at $373 \ K$ ($100^{\circ} \ C$) is mixed with $25 \ g$ of ice at $273 \ K$ ($0^{\circ} \ C$). What is the final temperature of the mixture. My Question: The ...
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How much of an object's mass behaves as if it is located at the center of gravity? [closed]

We recently finished up a physics lab where a 200g weight was balanced at the end of a ruler on a fulcrum (measuring torque). In the analysis portion of the lab, we are asked: "How much of the mass ...
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44 views

Can spontaneous fluctuations cause instantaneous non-equilibrium?

The fluctuation-dissipation theorem says that the linear response of a given system to an external perturbation is expressed as the fluctuation properties of the system in thermal equilibrium. Does ...
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55 views

Does entropy increase with heat flow?

In an exam, I had a scenario where 2 bodies with different temperatures were put together and over time their temperatures mixed and eventually became uniform. My intuition tells me that as a result, ...
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33 views

What exactly constitutes equilibrium processes?

It is almost always implied that the fields of statistical physics/thermodynamics mostly consider systems in equilibrium. Simple things as defining the entropy become very hard once we are in the non-...
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How does thermalisation make incoherent waves into coherent ones?

Thermalisation is the process by which out-of-equilibrium systems reach equilibrium. Coherence refers to the phases of waves being a constant difference apart. While reading a paper on axion stars, I ...
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70 views

Does the First law of thermodynamics hold if the final state is NOT in equilibrium?

So we know the first low of thermodynamics holds for isolated systems $$\Delta E = W+Q\tag{1}$$ Now assuming we are in a thermally isolated system such that $(Q=0)$ we obtain $$\Delta E= W\tag{2}$$...
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Is there a difference between false (metastable) and local equilibria?

Or is it permissible to use the terms interchangeably? If there is a difference, what is it?
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How is quantum mechanics consistent with statistical mechanics?

Let's say we have an harmonic oscillator (at Temperature $T$) in a superposition of state 1 and 2: $$\Psi = \frac{\phi_1+\phi_2}{\sqrt{2}}$$ where each $\phi_i$ has energy $E_i \, .$ The probability ...
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Affect of temperature on carbonation loss

When opening a bottle of soda (any carbonated drink) some of the 'fizz' rushes out. When you replace the cap, CO2 from the soda migrates to fill the empty space in the bottle and eventually an ...
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2answers
68 views

Why quasistatic doesn't imply reversible process? [duplicate]

Quasistatic process are almost always in equilibrium. We know that equilibrium implies zero entropy change. And zero entropy change implies that the process is reversible. So why quasistatic doesn't ...
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49 views

Clarify Torque and static friction [duplicate]

I came to this problem and solved it but I don't fully understand how this works. The problem is: A 200lb man climbs to the top of a 20ft ladder that is leaning against a smooth wall at an angle ...
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1answer
52 views

Teeter Totter Team Building Game

I recall doing a team building exercise where a team of about 4 people needed to balance a teeter totter, so that neither of the ends was touching the ground. They could achieve this by having the ...
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72 views

Grand free energy as force towards equilibrium

My book on thermal physics shows that, for a system in thermal and diffusive equilibrium (with a reservoir that can supply both energy and particles), the grand free energy, $\Phi$, tends to decrease. ...
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31 views

How to get electromagnetic field tensor of photon gas?

Momentum spectrum of ideal photon gas depends on its temperature.But sometimes I need these thermal photons to act like 'electromagnetic field'.I want to take them into charged particles' motion ...
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42 views

Rotor finds equilibrium in TWO positions, why and how?

I have a Mendocino motor, a toy with magnets, solar panels, and coils. Such a thing requires careful balancing (eg. with tiny bits of tape) to achieve sufficient balance that it will start rotating ...
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32 views

difference between translational and dynamic translation equilibrium

What is the difference between translation equilibrium and dynamic translational equilibrium ? Also what is the difference between rotational and dynamic rotational equilibrium ? definitions : ...
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1answer
204 views

Thermodynamic Stability - Convexity - Concavity of Thermodynamical potential

The thermodynamic stability principle requires convexity of the internal energy upon all of its independent variables. When we pass through the Legendre transforms to build all the other ...
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2answers
294 views

(Two fixed charges add in a third), why does it matter which side I put the third charge if I change signs accordingly?

So the question is "Two charges, 1.0 micro-Coulombs and -3.0 micro-Coulombs, are 10 cm apart. Where can a third charge be located so that no net electrostatic force acts on it?". Now the instructor ...
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3answers
453 views

Maximum entropy at equilibrium for closed system: Local maximum or global maximum?

For a closed system at equilibrium the entropy is maximum. Is this a local maximum or is it a global maximum? I am an undergraduate physics student and it seems that the possibility of entropy ...
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3answers
76 views

Electrostatics fundamentals

Suppose a charge is kept at the centre of a square frame and the vertices of the frame have four more charges fixed to the frame which are identical to each other but not necessary that these four are ...
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1answer
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Definition of equilibrium for thermodynamics and statistical mechanics

Is the definition of equilibrium for thermodynamics and statistical mechanics the same? From my understanding, a system is in thermodynamic equilibrium if its macroscopic variables are not changing. ...
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1answer
43 views

Local equilibrium of slow time varying thermal system

I'm trying to differentiate a thermal system in local equilibrium (and slow time varying) v/s a non-equilibrium system. For a thermal system which is slowly time varying, how does one define local ...
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1answer
81 views

Proving that $c_V$ is positive

On my professor's lecture notes he claims that $c_V>0$. Intuitively, this would have been my guess as well but he mentions how you can prove this by constructing a setup: "Construct an isolated ...
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80 views

Can body of one temperature ever cause higher temperature in another body?

If you have one body that radiates heat at a constant rate and, forgive my simple assumption, thus constant temperature, and a body that may absorb this heat, may the temperature of second body ever ...
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1answer
47 views

2 body problem question

I am taking a classical mechanics course and i am struggling to determine the equilinrium points for this potential $$Q= -(k/r) + ar + (L^2/mr^2).$$ The problem is that i have to solve a cubic ...
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4answers
72 views

Thermodynamic process

"During this process, the system is always in thermal equilibrium with the surroundings." Does this statement means the process is adiabatic? Since the temperature of both systems is the same, there ...
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1answer
80 views

Why particles of thermodynamic systems have a preference for low energy levels?

While reading Ken Dill's Molecular Driving Force, I noticed this paragraph when the author is trying to explain the Boltzmann distribution. Particles don’t have an intrinsic preference for lower ...
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1answer
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Overconstrained equilibrium binary mixture phase seggregation

Assume a binary mixture, with the component $A$ in concentration $c$ and the component $B$ in concentration $1-c$. The total energy $E(c)$ is thus given by a function of one variable $c$ (if we do not ...
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1answer
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Thermodynamics ($dE<0, dH<0, dG<0$ )

I didn't understand the derivation of why Gibbs free energy becomes negative when change is spontaneous. Our chemistry teacher's derivation was like this. $$dE = TdS - PdV \leq TdS - P_{ext} \cdot ...
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1answer
77 views

Equilibria and conserved quantities in a superposition of central potentials

I have a Lagrangian made up of a superposition of $k$ central repulsive potentials centered at $(a_k,b_k)$. Each potential is somewhat strange - they take the form $V(r)=-\ln\left(r\right)$. The whole ...
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70 views

Why does a system assume ground state at absolute zero temperature?

I am going through Huang, Statistical Mechanics. He says at 0 kelvin, a quantum system assumes ground state so that $S=k_B ln(G)$ holds where $G$ is the degeneracy of the ground state . My question ...
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1answer
82 views

Earnshaw's theorem and stability of charge inside a hollowed cavity of conductor

When a positive charge q is placed in the center of a spherical cavity of a spherical neutral conductor, it induces a negative charge $q$ to line the inner wall of the conductor, and a positive charge ...
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4answers
130 views

Work done but no change in velocity

I’m taking an introductory course in thermodynamics right now and I have learned that in a quasi static process, one way to increase internal energy is to do work on a system or supply heat to it. But ...
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Laplace's heat equation equilibrium functions

I simulated the Laplace's heat equation on a grid (200x200) with boundary conditions of 0 (a cold source) on the top and left and 1 (of hot source) on the bottom and right. (see gif) I stopped ...
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Why are the electrodes in thermodynamic equilibrium for a working solar cell?

I was reading a paper that performed simulation of a solar cell under illuminated conditions. Obviously, in these conditions, the device is out of thermodynamic equilibrium. For example the ...
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1answer
49 views

Is temperature equilibrium actually reached in a mixer tap, or is it merely a jumbling of hot/cold droplets?

Most kitchen and bathroom sink faucets have a mixer tap which blends the hot and cold inflows into a warm, uniform outflow stream. It's difficult to believe that complete heat transfer and ...
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1answer
64 views

Relationship between binding energy of atoms in a solid and compressibility defined by bulk modulus

Consider an atom which has η nearest neighbours. The equilibrium binding energy $L_0$ of $N$ atoms is: $$ L_0 = \frac{Nηϵ}{2} $$ The bulk modulus $K$ of a solid of volume $V$ compressed under pressure ...
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1answer
48 views

Why does the thermal equilibrium change so quickly?

I performed an experiment recently where I tested the specific heat capacity of different metals in water. Once the metals were removed from a beaker and placed into calorimeter with water, thermal ...
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1answer
203 views

What is the difference between non-equilibrium and equilibrium phase transitions?

My question is about the distinction between certain kinds of phase transitions. I understand what the difference between first and second order ones are. What is the difference between non ...
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Entropy and equilibrium concepts at astronomic scales

I am always puzzled to read here and there discussions dealing with thermodynamic concepts applied to astronomic scales where gravity matters. To my opinion, there is a certain carelessness to go into ...
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207 views

Phase transitions and Helmholtz vs Gibbs Free Energy

Gibbs phase rule for Gibbs free energy says that phases during a phase transition must be in mechanical, chemical, and thermal equilibrium, e.g. $T_1=T_2$,$G_1=G_2$, and $P_1=P_2$, where the ...
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Is the method of joints only applicable to trusses?

I am confused as to whether the method of joints is only restrained to pin-jointed trusses or it can be applied to other statics problem, for example the one shown in the picture, and why?.
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How would I draw the forces on two identical ladders propped up against each other, connected by a rope?

Two ladders of uniform density and equal mass m are propped up against each other at angles $\theta$ from the frictionless ground. A rope of tension $T$ connects the two horizontally a distance $\...
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1answer
124 views

What is the law of mass action?

What is the law of mass action? This is a question which covers the area of chemistry. But unfortunately I don't know any sites which can clear my chemistry doubts. So kindly I request anyone to ...
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To which all factors chemical equilibrium is directly proportional to? [closed]

The equilibrium constant is directly proportional to the concentration. why it is so? Is chemical equilibrium dependent on temperature and other such factors? Then why we only focus on concentration?
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1answer
91 views

What does blackbody radiation look like for negative-temperature systems?

Using the thermodynamic definition of temperature, $$\frac{1}{T}=\frac{\partial S}{\partial U}\bigg|_{V,N}$$ negative temperatures are possible, in systems where the entropy decreases when energy is ...
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1answer
119 views

What is the (quantum) definition of thermal equilibrium?

What is the necessary condition for a quantum system to be in thermal equilibrium? The quantum systems I have in mind are a bunch of cold atoms, of photons in a cavity. Does a system need to obey a ...
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Earth as a perfect sphere and an object trying to stand still

I have imagined the Earth as a perfect sphere with uniform mass density and I put an object somewhere between the equator and the north pole at rest with respect to earth. And also in my imaginary ...
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170 views

How do you calculate the change in entropy for a non quasistatic process

I understand that Entropy is a state function, but the change in entropy does in fact depend on the process from a-->b. I understand the derivation for entropy where $$S_2-S_1=Ncv\ln\frac{T_2}{T_1}+...