Tagged Questions

A important extensive property of all systems in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and information theory, quantifying their disorder (randomness), i.e., our lack of information about them. It characterizes the degree to which the energy of the system is *not* available to do useful work.

1k views

Why do many people link entropy to chaos?

I understand that, in thermodynamics, entropy has a precise definition (the infinitesimal change of entropy being the infinitesimal heat transfer divided by the temperature), and that in statistical ...
87 views
+50

How to derive entropy from density of states?

I'm trying to derive the entropy of a black hole, given the density of states of a bosonic string (the details are not relevant). The density of states is $$\omega(E) = E^\alpha e^{\beta E}$$ The ...
5k views

Where is the flaw in this machine that decreases the entropy of a closed system?

I was thinking about a completely unrelated problem (Quantum Field Theory Peskin & Schroeder kind of unrelated!) when the diagram below sprang into my mind for no apparent reason. After some ...
41 views

How is a irreversible process (conventionally) represented on a $T-S$ plane and why cannot it be (really) represented?

A reversible process can be represented on a $T-S$ plane, and the area under the curve is the heat exchanged by the system. On $P-V$ plane a irreversible process is conventionally represented with a ...
1k views

Why don't photons split up into multiple lower energy versions of themselves?

A photon could spontaneously split up into two or more versions of itself and all the conservation laws I'm aware of would not be violated by this process. (I think.) I've given this some thought, and ...
49 views

Relation between entropy and internal energy

I am confused as to what is the relation between entropy and internal energy. Entropy is always presented as a measure of the randomness in a system. So when we supply heat to a well insulated system ...
405 views
+50

Does measurement, quantum in particular, always increase the total entropy?

Measurement of a quantum observable (in an appropriate, old-fashioned sense) necessarily involves coupling to a system with a macroscopically large number of degrees of freedom. Entanglement with this ...
226 views

Is Bekenstein entropy limit inconsistent with universal continuity?

It is unknown whether the universe is discrete or continuous in its intricate quantum level structure. See for example: Can universal continuity be experimentally falsified? Is the universe finite ...
57 views

Books on entropy [closed]

What books introduce entropy in a intuitive, elementary way (at most, for a person with undergraduate physics studies)? The book should not necessarily introduce entropy in relation only to ...
82 views

Accessibility by reversible processes and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

One common way of motivating the existence of Entropy as a state function is the following. Let us take the Clausius/Kelvin-Planck statement of the second law, from which we can deduce Clausius' ...
55 views

Change in entropy of thermodynamic environment during isobaric or isochoric processes

When an ideal gas follows a isobaric or isochoric transformation (no matter if it is reversible or not) I'm not sure what is the change in entropy of the thermodynamic environment. First of all, ...
128 views

How did steady-state universe deal with entropy?

Until the 1960's the general consensus was that the universe is infinite years old (steady-state). The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy always increases, so we'd expect that within a ...
372 views

Is information entropy the same as thermodynamic entropy?

Context In one of his most popular books Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett makes an entropy joke: Knowledge equals Power, which equals Energy, which equals Mass Pratchett is a fantasy comedian ...
66 views

What is meant by a “change in volume of a system”?

I keep getting confused when my professor talks about the change in volume of a system. Sometimes it seems as though he's talking about the volume of the gas and at other times he might be talking ...
273 views

Reference request for low entropy big bang

There is a somewhat widely accepted argument that the second law of thermodynamics exists because the universe began in a low-entropy state. I'm writing a paper that mentions this (and must be ...
42 views

How to find entropy production of opening the windows in the winter?

Every time you open the windows in the winter (to bring in healthy and fresh air), room's warm air goes to Atmosphere. How to find entropy production of opening the windows in the winter? where the ...
294 views

Why would a Boltzmann brain be transient?

The Boltzmann brain idea as I understand it: suppose the universe has an infinite lifetime. Once heat death is achieved, there are no more large-scale structures to the universe -- everything is just ...
7k views

Is there any proof for the 2nd law of thermodynamics?

Are there any analytical proofs for the 2nd law of thermodynamics? Or is it based entirely on empirical evidence?
53 views

Entropy and Clausius inequality

From the Clausius inequality we can derive that the efficiency of a Carnot (reversible) cycle is given by: $$e= 1 - \frac{T_c}{T_h}$$ Is this true for every reversible cycle? Is the efficiency of all ...
63 views

Does conservation of information mean that the direction of causality is arbitrary? [duplicate]

If it is the case that the information content of the universe is conserved, and the past can be constructed from a complete knowledge of the future just as easily as vice versa, then is there any ...
81 views

Can black holes grow via accretion of dark matter particles?

I'm assuming that the answer to the question in the title is a resounding yes. Since Baryonic matter and dark matter interact via gravitational forces. If this is the case how is information not lost ...
43 views

If a flywheel is spinning at say 1,000 rpm, would an input of 500 rpm would actually slow it down? [closed]

When a flywheel is stationery, an input of 500 rpm would translate to less than 500 rpm in the flywheel considering entropy, but what happens if the flywheel is already running at 1000 rpm, wouldn't ...
190 views

34 views

Effectiveness of phase-change materials vs water for heat storage?

I'm trying to understand the benefit of specialized phase-change materials vs. water for absorbing heat in a home during the day. It's my understanding that selecting phase-change materials whose ...
252 views

Entropy change in an irreversible process between 2 equilibrium state

Calculating entropy change in an irreversible process between 2 states requires computing the change in entropy for any reversible process between the 2 same states, but why? If someone could provide ...
208 views

Is entropy absolute (as in absolute temperature)?

Following this question on the Entropy at the Big Bang where I asked: Since Entropy always increases (in general); its expected that the entropy at the beginning of the universe should be the ...
176 views

Do gravitational waves have entropy?

We know, according the current understanding of black holes and General Relativity, as well as quantum fields in General Relativity, that black holes have an entropy proportional to the area of the ...
32 views

A system with temp T is in contact with a reservoir of temp T. Would the system ever take in energy and expand (do work) in this situation?

The context is explain a Carnot cycle and how to get work from a system. Its starts by saying the system is in equilibrium with its surroundings, but then it take in some energy Qin. How does ...