A phase transition is the transformation of thermodynamic system from one phase or state of matter to another.
A phase of a thermodynamic system and the states of matter have uniform physical properties.
Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of engineering, physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the design, production, and operation of machines and tools. It is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines.
The engineering field requires an understanding of core concepts including mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis, and electricity. Mechanical engineers use these core principles along with tools like computer-aided engineering, and product lifecycle management to design and analyze manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and machinery, heating and cooling systems, transport systems, aircraft, watercraft, robotics, medical devices, weapons, and others.
Water heating is a thermodynamic process that uses an energy source to heat water above its initial temperature. Typical domestic uses of hot water include cooking, cleaning, bathing, and space heating. In industry, hot water and water heated to steam have many uses.
Domestically, water is traditionally heated in vessels known as water heaters, kettles, cauldrons, pots, or coppers. These metal vessels that heat a batch of water do not produce a continual supply of heated water at a preset temperature. Rarely, hot water occurs naturally, usually from natural hot springs. The temperature varies based on the consumption rate, becoming cooler as flow increases.
The idea of "irreversibility" is central to the understanding of entropy. Everyone has an intuitive understanding of irreversibility - if one watches a movie of everyday life running forward and one of it running in reverse, it is easy to distinguish between the two. The movie running in reverse shows impossible things happening - water jumping out of a glass into a pitcher above it, smoke going down a chimney, water "unmelting" to form ice in a warm room, crashed cars reassembling themselves, and so on. The intuitive meaning of expressions such as "don't cry over spilled milk" or "you can't take the cream out of the coffee" is that these are irreversible processes. There is a direction in time by which spilled milk does not go back into the glass.
In thermodynamics, one says that the "forward" processes - pouring water from a pitcher, smoke going up a chimney, etc. are "irreversible" - they cannot happen in reverse, even though, on a microscopic level, no laws of physics are being violated. All real physical processes involving systems in everyday life, with many atoms or molecules, are irreversible. For an irreversible process in an isolated system, the thermodynamic state variable known as entropy is always increasing. The reason that the movie in reverse is so easily recognized is because it shows processes for which entropy is decreasing, which is physically impossible (or, more correctly, statistically improbable). In everyday life, there may be processes in which the increase of entropy is practically unobservable, almost zero. In these cases, a movie of the process run in reverse will not seem unlikely. For example, in a 1-second video of the collision of two billiard balls, it will be hard to distinguish the forward and the backward case, because the increase of entropy during that time is relatively small. In thermodynamics, one says that this process is practically "reversible", with an entropy increase that is practically zero. The statement of the fact that entropy never decreases is found in the second law of thermodynamics.
Soft matter is a subfield of condensed matter comprising a variety of physical states that are easily deformed by thermal stresses or thermal fluctuations. They include liquids, colloids, polymers, foams, gels, granular materials, and a number of biological materials. These materials share an important common feature in that predominant physical behaviors occur at an energy scale comparable with room temperature thermal energy. At these temperatures, quantum aspects are generally unimportant. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, who has been called the "founding father of soft matter," received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1991 for discovering that the order parameter from simple thermodynamic systems can be applied to the more complex cases found in soft matter, in particular, to the behaviors of liquid crystals and polymers.