A important property of all systems in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Entropy characterizes the degree to which the energy of the system is *not* available to do useful work

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“Violation” of the Second Law

I can't reconcile some facts about entropy and irreversibility. This depresses me, because I feel I can't quite grasp the importance of entropy. I will illustrate my problems with an example given by ...
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Can you choose the variables of a state function?

I'm confused. I was first introduced to entropy as a state function of internal energy and volume $$S(U,V) \Rightarrow dS = C_v\frac{\mathrm{d}T}{T} - p\frac{\mathrm{d}V}{T} $$ wich is the ...
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Helmholtz free energy from a relation for entropy

The Legendre transformation defines the helmholtz free energy (at least according to my lectures) as: $F(T,V,N)=E-TS$ It also says to start with $E(S,V,N)$ and $T=\frac{\partial{E}}{\partial{S}}$ ...
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Entropy change at varying temperatures?

Entropy change is defined as the amount of energy dispersed reversibly to or from the system at a specific temperature. Reversivility means that the temperature of the system must remain constant ...
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Difference between heat capacity and entropy?

Heat capacity $C$ of an object is the proportionality constant between the heat $Q$ that the object absorbs or loses & the resulting temperature change $\delta T$ of the object. Entropy change is ...
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Definition of entropy in nonequilibrium states

Thermodynamical definition of entropy $$S(p)=-\int p\ln p~dx$$ is defined only on equilibrium system. But why can't we use it for non-equilibrium system? Is there a well-accepted definition for it?
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Regarding the 'Arrow of Time'

I read according to 'Newtonian' Mechanics any set of physical activity of particles can be reversed ( I think) so a set of complicated dynamic systems of particles and matter can reverse their ...
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Why the amount of entropy increase to a system is less when heat is added to a higher temperature system than to a lower one?

As I understand it, statistically this means that a fall from a high temperature (say $300\text{ K}$) to a middle temperature ($200\text{ K}$), and an increase from say ($100\text{ K}$) to ($200\text{ ...
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Thermodynamics of scattering theory

I have a couple of conceptual questions regarding the thermodynamics of scattering. Any partial answer or argument will be appreciated. For the sake of discussion, consider the scattering of ...
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Is there a minimum energy content of information, other than 0 Joules?

Lets say I want to send the bit string 010110 to someone. Is there a theoretical lower bound on the energy needed to do this?
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Is the second law of Thermodynamics an immense tautology?

Let's imagine for a second a system that is changing constantly from one microstate to another one. It could be a given volume of a gas with its atoms moving and bouncing around, or a deck of cards ...
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Does the entropy of a system vary in the equilibrium?

I am not physicist and this question may seem trivial. But I understand that in the equilibrium the magnitudes such as temperature or volumen do not vary. Is the same for entropy? My logical says that ...
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Axioms behind entropy!

The concept of entropy is very ubiquitous, we learn about its uses starting from Information Theory (Shannon entropy) up to its basic definition in statistical mechanics in terms of number of ...
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Entropy of an oscillator in Einstein's solid

This is a homework problem and I need help with it. A solid's (Einstein's model) oscillators are in the first excited state on average. How much entropy does one oscillator have? What I've tried so ...
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Gravity and the Second Law of Thermodynamics [duplicate]

I was wondering about the hypothetical - and apparently improbable - heat death of the Universe when I stumbled upon this seeming contradiction. A certain volume of space with a uniform distribution ...
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Who invented the perfume bottle thought experiment?

A common thought experiment used to explain the second law of thermodynamics, the "arrow of time", etc. is perfume escaping from an opened perfume bottle; the perfume is likely to diffuse into the ...
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Thermodynamics for Dummies: Entropy and temperature

I do not study physics and I have never had a course in thermodynamics. I have no idea what it is about, but I am currently taking a course where we had something about entropy. Would be great if ...
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Is Fourier's law of conduction a consequence of the second principle?

In classical thermodynamics courses, entropy is often motivated by the need to justify that heat flows from high temperatures zones to lower temperatures zones: this is seen as a consequence of ...
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Dimensionless entropy interpretation

Measuring temperature in joules instead in the artificial units of Kelvin would render entropy as a dimensionless quantity. This is quite appealing since entropy has always been quite a misterious ...
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Entropy and dark matter structure

Inspired by this question. I believe that the usual explanation that preserves the second law of thermodynamics as an astrophysical gas cloud collapses under gravity is that the gas must heat and ...
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Are galaxies, stars, planets, and ultimately life in violation of the second law of thermodynamics? [duplicate]

How can we think about entropy in these situations? To my knowledge all of these structures are born out of gravitational interaction. However, it would seem that the formation of these more organized ...
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What is entropy really?

On this site, change in entropy is defined as the amount of energy dispersed divided by the absolute temperature. But I want to know: What is the definition of entropy? Here, entropy is defined as ...
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What is entropy of the universe? [duplicate]

What is entropy of the universe? What is the change in entropy of our universe? Is this change increases or decreases? If the entropy of universe keeps on increasing then what are the consequences? Is ...
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BTZ Black Hole Central Charge and Conformal Weight

I have been trying to reproduce a calculation (equation 4.12) in this paper http://arxiv.org/pdf/1107.2678v1.pdf by Carlip reviewing the derivation of the effective central charge of the BTZ Black ...
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Potential energy & entropy of three particles

Let me first say that I am not a physicist, but I am trying to make a simulation on my computer and I have the following question. Let's consider that we have three free charges that somehow can ...
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How can heat turn into light

I am confused about how hot surfaces can radiate light to their surroundings. When I shine a light on a surface the light turns to heat spontaneously, and when I leave that hot surface it radiates ...
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How to measure Entropy?

While $$\delta Q=T\ dS$$ allows for obtaining the entropy change of an isolated system in equilibrium by measuring the heat exchange with the environment, I was wondering whether there are ways to ...
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Is the subadditivity of quantum entropy valid in the infinite-dimensional case?

Does the subadditivity (and strong subadditivity) of quantum entropy hold for infinite dimensional quantum systems as well? Unfortunately the books in my hand give proof for finite dimensional cases ...
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Is the second law of thermodynamics a real law? [duplicate]

Everytime I ask people why the second law of thermodynamics is true, they say because the probability of entropy increasing is very large. This for some reason doesn't seem right for me. Just because ...
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What is the difference between a low vs. high entropy plasma just after and before a singularity occurs?

Although it appears that the universe is not closed (since it is accelerating) I have been reading different websites on how the universe would look like if it was closed and the big crunch did occur. ...
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How to calculate the partial entropy in a fully connected ising system

I'm trying to reproduce a calculation that should lead to the partial entropy in a fully connected ising model for the high-temperature range ($\beta < 2$) in the thermodynamic Limit ($N ...
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What is the relation between entropy and mass of black hole?

What is the relation between entropy and mass of black hole? And what is the relation between symmetry of physics operation and entropy?For instance,measuring or doing measure on state of quantum ...
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Why is Entropy's Definition Useful?

I have somewhat of an understanding for other physical quantities, but as far as entropy goes I only know it to be "disorder". Why is the change in entropy formula an appropriate/useful definition, ...
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Confusion on entropy in the universe [closed]

I was researching about the heat-death of the universe, and I was wondering if my understanding of it so far is factual to the theory? However, the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics prevents the universe’s ...
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Mathematical proof of the Second Law of Thermodynamics [duplicate]

Is there some book or paper that formalizes statistical mechanics, like some people have done with relativity, and proves the second law of thermodynamics from more foundational axioms?
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Does the entropy of an adiabatically isolated system stays the same after we decrease/increase the pressure?

Even if the system is isolated and there is no heat exchange with surroundings, shouldn't the decrease/increase of pressure result in increase/decrease of entropy? Does this property of an ...
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Problems with units of entropy in statistical thermodynamics

The statistical thermodynamics definition of entropy: $S = kN \ln (W)$ troubles me a lot with the problem of dimenstions. where $S$ is entropy; $k$, the Boltzmann constant; $N$ the number of particles ...
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Existence of negative temperatures and the definition of entropy

How negative temperatures can be possible has been treated on StackExchange before (several times in fact), but in light of some recent academic discussion, most of these answers seem to be possibly ...
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Problem about entropy

Combining the first and second law of thermodynamics we can get the following equation $$TdS=dU-P_{ext}dV$$ First question: Is this equation applicable for irreversible processes such that that ...
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Relativity of simultaneity and the second law of thermodynamics? [closed]

Has the connection been noted between these two? I have been studying special relativity and in learning Minkowski diagrams I have noticed that as v approaches c, the relativity of simultaneity is so ...
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Is entropy in quantum mechanics emergent or fundamental?

Since a quantum mechanical system, even an isolated system containing one particle, can be described by a density matrix, with entropy for the system given by $\langle S\rangle=-k \rho\ln(\rho)$, is ...
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Why do we remember the past but not the future?

The question is sometimes referred to as the "psychological arrow of time" (Hawking, 1985). Here the past is understood as a moment or time when the entropy of the universe was lower, and contrarily ...
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Is there a general H-theorem?

In statistical mechanics, Boltzmann showed that for dilute gases the H-function increases. I remember from a lecture that there is no general H-theorem, e.g. for non-dilute gases or in the quantum ...
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Entropy as a state property

The usual "proof" entropy is a state property is like that: "Consider a system which undergoes a reversible process from state 1 to state 2 along path A, and let cycle be completed along path B, ...
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What does the Higgs boson have to do with the uncertainty principle and quantum oscillations?

I was looking in New Scientist the other day when I saw something to do with the Higgs boson, energy levels, entropy, space/time, quantum oscillations and many other things. It was in a feature to do ...
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Entropy of photons

Do low energy photons have greater entropy than high energy photons, or is the entropy of all photons the same (and the relationship between high and low entropy radiation is just a function of the ...
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Do individual photons increase entropy as they travel?

If I draw a control volume around a single light wave traveling through empty space, is entropy increasing as it goes? How is the degradation of the quality of energy manifested?
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Question on entropy

All of my textbooks mention, that entropy-change of all spontaneous physical, and chemical processes is positive, and that such processes need another condition to fulfill- decrease in the net ...
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Why can the entropy of an isolated system increase?

From the second law of thermodynamics: The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward ...
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At an instant, does a system of gravitational charges exhibit equivalent behavior to a time-reversed system of like electric charges?

Question: In principle, does a system of gravitational charges exhibit equivalent behavior to a time-reversed system of like electric charges? (At a single instance in time?) Additional Notes: I am ...