Why Cats Land on Their Feet: And 76 Other Physical Paradoxes and Puzzles

By Mark Levi | Go to book overview

10
SOME HOT STUFF AND COOL THINGS

10.1 Can Heat Pass from a Colder to
a Hotter Object?

The answer to the question is, of course, no: in contact between two objects, the heat goes from the hotter object to the colder one.1 So the following question may sound silly:

Problem. Can a glass of 100° C water heat a glass of 0° C milk to more than 50° C, their common temperature if mixed together? The glasses are of the same size. Let's also assume that water and milk are completely identical in all their thermal properties.2 No heat can be brought in from the outside, but additional containers can be used.

Solution. Such heat transfer is possible without violation of the second law. All we need is an extra empty glass and a small ladle. Scoop up a ladle of cold milk, dip it into hot water, and wait for the temperatures to become practically

1 This is a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics, an experimentally established fact.

2 In particular, they have equal specific heat capacities: equal amounts of heat give equal masses equal temperature increases.

-117-

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Why Cats Land on Their Feet: And 76 Other Physical Paradoxes and Puzzles
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Fun with Physical Paradoxes, Puzzles, and Problems 1
  • 2 - Outer Space Paradoxes 5
  • 3 - Paradoxes with Spinning Water 17
  • 4 - Floating and Diving Paradoxes 28
  • 5 - Flows and Jets 39
  • 6 - Moving Experiences- Bikes, Gymnastics, Rockets 57
  • 7 - Paradoxes with the Coriolis Force 77
  • 8 - Centrifugal Paradoxes 84
  • 9 - Gyroscopic Paradoxes 104
  • 10 - Some Hot Stuff and Cool Things 117
  • 11 - Two Perpetual Motion Machines 127
  • 12 - Sailing and Gliding 132
  • 13 - The Flipping Cat and the Spinning Earth 142
  • 14 - Miscellaneous 146
  • Appendix 161
  • Bibliography 187
  • Index 189
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