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Temperatures & Thermodynamics

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Calculating Heat Exchange in a Closed System

In physics, you can calculate how much heat energy is required to raise an object of a certain mass by a certain temperature — all you need is the object’s specific heat. [more…]

How to Calculate the Latent Heat Needed to Cause a Phase Change

In physics, latent heat is the heat per kilogram that you have to add or remove to make an object change its state; in other words, latent heat is the heat needed to make a phase change happen. Its units [more…]

Counting Molecules Using Avogradro's Number

To look at gases on the molecular level, you need to know how many molecules you have in a certain sample. Physicists use a measurement called a mole to relate the mass of a sample to the number of molecules [more…]

Using Boyle's and Charles's Laws to Express the Ideal Gas Law

In physics, you can use Boyle’s and Charles’s laws to express the ideal gas law in different ways. For example, you can express the relationship between the pressure and volume of an ideal gas before and [more…]

Calculating Kinetic Energy in an Ideal Gas

Molecules have very little mass, but gases contain many, many molecules, and because they all have kinetic energy, the total kinetic energy can pile up pretty fast. Using physics, can you find how much [more…]

Keeping a System at Constant Heat: The Adiabatic Process

In physics, when you have a process where no heat flows from or to the system, it’s called an adiabatic process. The first figure shows an example of an adiabatic process: a cylinder surrounded by an insulating [more…]

Keeping a System at Constant Temperature: The Isothermal Process

In physics, when the temperature remains constant as other quantities change, you have what is called an isothermal system. The remarkable apparatus in the first figure shows an example of an isothermal [more…]

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