Thermodynamics

A:

According to About.com expert Timothy Thiele, oil heaters are electric appliances that warm the surrounding air by passing hot oil through a series of metal tubes. Oil is the ideal filling for space heaters because it heats quickly and gets extremely hot without boiling. As the heater runs, the hot oil heats its metal tubing, which has poor heat retention and quickly releases the heat into the air.

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  • Can you tell what temperature a fire is by its color?

    Q: Can you tell what temperature a fire is by its color?

    A: The temperature of a flame from a known material can be estimated based on the flame's color. However, flame color is also affected by the material being burnt and differs based on its chemical properties in addition to its temperature.
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  • What materials are good conductors of heat?

    Q: What materials are good conductors of heat?

    A: Many metals, like silver, copper, gold and aluminum, are good thermal conductors. Thermal conductors are materials that heat passes through easily. Conduction, or the transfer of heat, can take place within a single material or between two objects.
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  • How are temperature and thermal energy different?

    Q: How are temperature and thermal energy different?

    A: The difference between temperature and thermal energy is that temperature measures the average kinetic speed of molecules and thermal energy is the total kinetic energy of all particles in a given substance. In other words, temperature measures the average speed of movement, and thermal energy measures the mass of a substance. Both temperature and thermal energy are made by the movement of particles.
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  • Which metal conducts heat the fastest?

    Q: Which metal conducts heat the fastest?

    A: Silver is the metal that conducts heat the fastest. The thermal conductivity of silver is 420 W/ (m• K) or watts per meter degrees of Kelvin. Thermal conductivity measures the ability of heat or thermal energy to move through materials.
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  • Why do flames go upwards?

    Q: Why do flames go upwards?

    A: Visible flames are hot gases emitting light, which naturally rises because it is hotter (and therefore less dense) than the air around it. These hot gases are byproducts of the chemical reaction of combustion, or burning.
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  • What is the hottest part of the day?

    Q: What is the hottest part of the day?

    A: According to the National Satellite and Information Service, the hottest time of the day is generally around midafternoon. The exact time of the day that it is the hottest depends on where a person lives and what time of the year it is.
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  • What is a candle flame made up of?

    Q: What is a candle flame made up of?

    A: While a flame is the gaseous portion of a fire, a candle flame contains millions of diamond nanoparticles. Approximately 1.5 million diamond nanoparticles are created every second before converting into carbon dioxide. All four forms of carbon are present within a candle flame: elemental carbon, graphite, white carbon and diamond.
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  • Why are metals such good conductors of heat?

    Q: Why are metals such good conductors of heat?

    A: Metals conduct heat well for two reasons: metal ions pack very closely together in their molecular lattice, and electrons drifting through the metal carry kinetic energy around the lattice. The result is a quick elevation in particle motion that is expressed through heat energy. This conductivity is one reason why one rarely sees metal playground equipment anymore — although the slides go a lot faster than plastic ones, sitting on a slide on a hot summer afternoon is often quite painful.
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  • What is an example of convection?

    Q: What is an example of convection?

    A: Convection occurs when a cold pot of water is placed on a stove burner that transfers heat to the bottom of the pan. As the water in the pan warms, it begins to bubble on the surface. Generally, convection transfers heat from a warm area to a cooler one.
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  • How does a fuel pump work?

    Q: How does a fuel pump work?

    A: A fuel pump pulls gasoline from the tank, guiding it along a pipe to the carburetor. Some fuel pumps are electric, mounted near or in the fuel tank, while others operate mechanically in concert with the engine. Either way, the fuel pump is what gets the gasoline where it needs to go.
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  • Why does heat rise?

    Q: Why does heat rise?

    A: Hot air rises because when a substance is hot, its molecules are farther apart, which makes the hot air less dense and, therefore, lighter than cooler air. Air is generally warmer nearer the surface of the Earth because of the sun's radiating heat. When hot air rises, it starts to get cooler and eventually it sinks back down to the surface.
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  • At what temperature does duct tape melt?

    Q: At what temperature does duct tape melt?

    A: Industry safety standards require duct tape to be nonflammable and safe to use in temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Adhesive endurance is reduced in temperatures over 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
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  • How does an oil heater work?

    Q: How does an oil heater work?

    A: According to About.com expert Timothy Thiele, oil heaters are electric appliances that warm the surrounding air by passing hot oil through a series of metal tubes. Oil is the ideal filling for space heaters because it heats quickly and gets extremely hot without boiling. As the heater runs, the hot oil heats its metal tubing, which has poor heat retention and quickly releases the heat into the air.
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  • Why is boiling a cooling process?

    Q: Why is boiling a cooling process?

    A: Boiling can be considered as a cooling process because as a liquid reaches its critical temperature, heat escapes through rapid evaporation. Essentially, boiling happens when liquids turn into gases, forcing excess heat out of the liquid.
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  • Which freezes faster: freshwater or saltwater?

    Q: Which freezes faster: freshwater or saltwater?

    A: Freshwater freezes faster that saltwater, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Freshwater freezes at 32 F, while saltwater freezes at a slightly lower temperature, 28.4 F.
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  • Q: Is sublimation endothermic or exothermic?

    A: Sublimation is an endothermic process, which means that energy must be added to a substance to facilitate the process. Sublimation is the term that describes a solid substance turning directly into a gas.
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  • Q: Why does hot water freeze faster than cold water?

    A: Hot water freezes faster compared to cold water, due to the intermolecular bonding between water molecules, based on a study conducted by the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. This phenomenon is known as the Mpemba effect.
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  • Q: How are potential and kinetic energy related?

    A: Potential and kinetic energy are the two types of mechanical energy. An object stores potential energy and expends it as kinetic energy when it is in motion. Potential energy generally involves an object's potential for movement as a result of its place within the gravitational field of the Earth.
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  • Q: Does a hot tennis ball bounce higher?

    A: Because higher temperatures result in higher pressure, a tennis ball bounces higher when it is hot. When the gas molecules expand in the tennis ball, it causes more energy and a higher bounce.
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  • Q: What is the cryogenics process?

    A: Cryogenics processes differ based upon what is being cooled down and the intended effect, but they always utilize very low temperatures, often contained within chambers. Cryogenics deals with a wide range of materials, from biological tissue to inorganic metals and gases, necessitating a wide range of processes.
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  • Q: What is the combustion of ethanol?

    A: The combustion of ethanol occurs when there is a reaction of ethanol with oxygen. There is a significant release of energy while this reaction is occurring.
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