Questions tagged [thermodynamics]

For questions about the branch of physics concerning heat and temperature and their macroscopic relationship to energy and work.

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Were there any contributions to thermodynamics and electromagnetism from Medieval Islamic science?

The Medieval Islamic world, between 8th to the mid 13th century, is known for its developments in academic knowledge. Particularly in astronomy. Many stellar objects still derive their name from ...
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In which work was Boltzmann's entropy originally introduced?

I get an impression from this enyclopedia entry that the primary source of the Boltzmann entropy equation $S = k \log W$ might be 1866, Über die Mechanische Bedeutung des Zweiten Hauptsatzes der ...
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Who was the first to understand that there is not a net flux of energy between Sun and Earth, but of entropy?

According to Penrose's Cycles of Time, he starts by reminding the usefulness of the second law of thermodynamics and how it applies to everyday life. In particular, how the net energy of Earth is a ...
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What was the chronologically first derivation PV=nRT?

Wikipedia describes the Ideal Gas Law as coming from a combination of Boyle's Law, Charles' Law, Avogadro's Law, and Gay-Lussac's Law. It gives several derivations, both empirical and theoretical, ...
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Since when is it commonplace to use conservation of energy for dynamics problems?

If I throw an object, I can derive its trajectory using the forces acted on it. I can also do the same using conservation of energy. Since when is it commonplace to use conservation of energy for ...
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Historical evolution of the ideas behind Clausius-Clapeyron equation and the classical/statistical notion of entropy

The concept of entropy in classical thermodynamics has its roots in attempts to improve the design and efficiency of steam engines; through Sadi Carnot's work, scientists eventually came to realize ...
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Query 31 in Newton's opticks and the second law of thermodynamics

Query 31 in Newton's opticks contains the following words: "But by reason of the Tenacity of Fluids, and Attrition of their Parts, and the Weakness of Elasticity in Solids, Motion is much more apt to ...
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What's the history of the use of crude oil for transportation before the Industrial Revolution?

What's the history of the use of crude oil for transportation before the Industrial Revolution? Wiktionary says the Latin word petroleum, from petra (“rock”) + oleum (“oil”), is medieval Latin, so ...
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First time equilibrium notation was used

I was wondering when was the first time that a chemist wrote a chemical equilibrium with the $\rightleftharpoons$ symbol. And if it was before or after Arrhenius's dissociation theory.
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Poisson's laws for adiabatic processes

I've been reading about Thermodynamics lately. The set of equations satisfied in an adiabatic process (and also more generally in polytropic ones) is: $$p_1V_1^\gamma = p_2V_2^\gamma$$ $$T_1V_1^{\...
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who was the "nabob" Truesdell thinking of?

In his "Rational Thermodynamics" 1983, 2nd ed., on page 55, Truesdell writes The axiomatization of Caratheodory has left a baneful legacy: Born's endorsement, which for a long time promoted ...
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Fatio de Dullier's Theory of Gravity -- Why ridiculed in 17th/18th century?

I read in Newton and the Counterfeiter about the young mathematician who was friends with Sir Isaac and competent enough to have detected an error in Principia. He offered a theory of gravity, I ...
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Ideal gas equation, mercury thermometer and temperature

Initially water thermometer were used to measure temperatures around the 1600s, then in 18th century mercury was used in thermometers because it expands linearly with temperature. But how do they know ...
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What concept did pre-modern people have about thermodynamic phenomena?

How did people before the advent of modern science in the 17th century conceive thermodynamic phenomena? I want to know how people in Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and in the Middle ...
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Did proponents of classical and statistical thermodynamics get along well with each other?

Proponents of classical thermodynamics believed the subject matter to be continuous, while the statistical thermodynamics proponents' subject matter was made up of atoms and variations of collectives ...
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How did crude oil pipelines work before WW2?

Before World War Two, how did pipelines work for crude oil? What kind of metal or plastic were they made out of? What kind of sensors and monitoring did they need? Did they have "pigs" that travel up ...
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