Levitating and colliding liquid drops

If you've seen water drops dance and jitter on a hot pan or griddle, you've seen the Leidenfrost effect in action. Or you may have seen the "Mythbusters" episode where Adam and Jamie thrust their wet fingers and hands into ...

Some polycrystal grain boundaries feel the heat more than others

Polycrystals are solid materials that are made up of lots of small crystals. The points where the crystals meet are known as grain boundaries (GBs). GBs are important because they can affect the way the solid behaves. However, ...

Strengthening the second law of thermodynamics

According to the second law of thermodynamics, the total entropy of a closed process can increase or stay the same, but never decrease. The second law guarantees, for example, that an egg can wobble off a table and leave ...

Physicists make square droplets and liquid lattices

When two substances are brought together, they will eventually settle into a steady state called thermodynamic equilibrium; examples include oil floating on top of water and milk mixing uniformly into coffee. Researchers ...

New quantum theory heats up thermodynamic research

Researchers have developed a new quantum version of a 150-year-old thermodynamical thought experiment that could pave the way for the development of quantum heat engines.

Aging, entropy and waste: Flushing out damaged cells

One theory of aging invokes the Second Law of Thermodynamics and suggests that in the long-term, the heat energy generated by metabolic changes causes damage to living systems that accumulates as repair mechanisms cannot ...

Cloud simulations get a dose of realism

A cloud simulation that captures the development and evolution of clouds based on atmospheric physical processes is more accurate than other models.

Entropy production gets a system update

Nature is not homogenous. Most of the universe is complex and composed of various subsystems—self-contained systems within a larger whole. Microscopic cells and their surroundings, for example, can be divided into many ...

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