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Heat and Entropy

by The_Markness
Tags: entropy, heat
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The_Markness
#1
Mar18-04, 09:42 AM
P: 6
Heat is the energy of random molecular motion. Does this mean then that atoms are constantly producing energy since the electrons are always moving? Or is it that there is potential energy stored in those electrons' motion? Would this be the energy of an atom bom?

If entropy always increases, why is it that atoms continue this motion? Shouldn't it come to a halt? Speaking of which, is it known why electrons don't spiral into the nucleus?

Thanks
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EL
#2
Mar18-04, 11:00 AM
Sci Advisor
P: 789
Originally posted by The_Markness
is it known why electrons don't spiral into the nucleus?
I'm tempted to answer "because it doesn't" on that question, but I think that's not the answer you are looking for.=)
The classical laws of physics doesn't hold for such small objects as atoms. It's a pure quantum mechanical phenomena.
russ_watters
#3
Mar18-04, 12:34 PM
Mentor
P: 22,300
Originally posted by The_Markness
Heat is the energy of random molecular motion. Does this mean then that atoms are constantly producing energy since the electrons are always moving? Or is it that there is potential energy stored in those electrons' motion?
Energy of motion is kinetic energy. If the atoms are in constant motion, they have constant kinetic energy.
Would this be the energy of an atom bom?
No, thats atomic energy (or to use the more modern and correct term, nuclear energy). Its the energy that binds the nucleus of an atom together.
If entropy always increases, why is it that atoms continue this motion? Shouldn't it come to a halt?
Newton's first law says no: once in motion, something stays in motion until you force it to stop. Entropy isn't really relevant to the question.
Speaking of which, is it known why electrons don't spiral into the nucleus?
Electrons don't orbit in the classical sense.

LURCH
#4
Mar18-04, 04:29 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 2,510
Heat and Entropy

Originally posted by russ_watters
Entropy isn't really relevant to the question.
Except in the sense that anything with heat radiates that heat to its saroundings, losing energy and cooling, so the motion of the atoms slows contiuously unless more energy is put into the system. In that way, entropy does effect the system, slowing the atomic motion untill the temp of the odject matches the temp of the saroundings.


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