Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: The open door refrigerator problem

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 02/06/2014
Q:
if you run a refrigerator in a closed room with the refrigerator door open what will happen to the room temperature
- Allison rizaa (age 13)
Culver city, ca, us
A:

Hello Allison,

This is a basic problem in thermodynamics.  If the room is completely 100% insulated and isolated the only way energy can come in is through the electrical plug.  Since the refrigerator motor is on then energy is flowing into the room in order to run it.   No energy is flowing out.   That means the temperature will rise since the temperature of the room is related to its total energy.   How fast it will rise depends on the efficiency of the motor which is always less than 100%. 

 

LeeH


(published on 02/06/2014)

Follow-up on this answer.