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.

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Status of time in a Universe at maximum entropy

In billions and billions (thanks Carl Sagan) of years I have heard that atoms will lose energy and their temperature will approach absolute zero and thus their entropy will approach a minimum level. ...
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240 views

While holding an object, no work done but costs energy (in response to a similar question)

I read the answer to Why does holding something up cost energy while no work is being done? and wanting to know more, I asked my teacher about it without telling him what I read here. Instead of ...
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97 views

Details in the derivation of the second law starting from the phase space volume

I had a question on one of the details of the derivation of the second law of thermodynamics starting from the phase space volume. I'll type out what I understand so far: Letting the Hamiltonian ...
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3answers
706 views

Does entropy apply to Newton's First Law or does “acted upon” always require an external factor?

First law: Every body remains in a state of rest or uniform motion (constant velocity) unless it is acted upon by an external unbalanced force. This means that in the absence of a non-zero net ...
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198 views

Can entropy of a system decrease if we wait long enough?

A ball rests on a smooth surface. The ball's particles are in constant motion. So are the particles of the floor. Some of the ball's particles collide with the floor's particles and transfer kinetic ...
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14k views

Can entropy be equal to zero?

I've searched for it but I only found contradicting answers from "scientists": Dr. David Balson, Ph.D. states: "entropy in a system can never be equal to zero". Sam Bowen does not refutes the ...
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143 views

Backward Time Flow?

Physicists say that time is moving foward because entropy always increases. But have physicists considered that we might be mistaken? Since there is no ultimate reference frame, it could be possible ...
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98 views

Is the black hole surface area actually zero?

From quantum mechanics we know that entropy of a part can be smaller than the entropy of the whole. I wonder whether a similar rule works for GR as well. Quantum mechanics predicts that the entropy ...
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4answers
260 views

Does entropy alter the probability of independent events?

So I have taken an introductory level quantum physics and am currently taking an introductory level probability class. Then this simple scenario came up: Given a fair coin that has been tossed 100 ...
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176 views

How to reconcile these two principles?

Quantum mechanics says that the entropy of an unobserved system remains constant. As such, the apparent growth of entropy is a subjective illusion. If we consider the wave function of the universe, ...
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675 views

About Boltzmann H-theorem

What is the assumption for Boltzmann H-theorem? One can derive it just from the unitarity of quantum mechanics, so this should be generally true, does it imply a closed system will always thermalize ...
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291 views

Does natural unit of information and entropy, nat, play special role in the freebit picture?

Please refer this question to understand why I consider the freebit picture important. In short, it is conjectured, that for certain real systems the most complete physical description possible ...
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5answers
3k views

Is a world with constant/decreasing entropy theoretically impossible?

I'm not 110% sure exactly what I mean by this question. It was sparked by a friend who said he wished the law of entropy were reversed, so he wouldn't have to worry about cleaning the bathroom. ...
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1answer
167 views

Would not gravity negate entropy?

Back in high school, I asked my teacher gave us a quick explanation of relativity. Specifically, he told us what $E=mc^2$ meant. He explained that, at least as far as we needed to be concerned, matter ...
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60 views

Maximising entropy when energy is shared between systems

This is a problem to do with statistical physics, and the exchange of energy when we have two microcanonical ensemble. I don't understand why there should be a minus sign in the middle, if Energy* ...
2
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1answer
200 views

Information content of the expanding Universe

As I understand, in physics, 'information' is closely tied to thermodynamic entropy. Does this relationship imply that if the Universe expands and ends in 'heat death' (maximum entropy?) that it ...
3
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1answer
646 views

Connection between Kolmogorov entropy and Boltzmann entropy

http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/527384/what-is-the-connectivity-between-boltzmanns-entropy-expression-and-shannons-en mentions a relationship between Shannon entropy and Boltzmann entropy. Is ...
2
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2answers
176 views

Bolzmann entropy [duplicate]

The Boltzmann entropy is defined as the logarithm of the phase space volume (E). Is there a reference, book, paper which shows where this definition comes and how it is equal to the phase space ...
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1answer
56 views

An isolated Earth

It is known the fact that there is no way to extract energy (in any form) from any system without introducing some energy. The Earth for example, gets energy from the Sun, from nuclear fusion of ...
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2answers
179 views

Entropy difference between initial and final states for a spherical photon cell collapsing in a black hole

Consider a spherical symmetric thin cell of photons converging to a point. At some moment, there is a formation of an horizon and a black hole. But each black hole is evaporating,and so, after some ...
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138 views

Entropic force in rubber bands [closed]

The formulation for entropic force of stretching a rubber band is now known. Are there any other such daily life examples that also have mathematical formulations of entropic forces associated with ...
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1answer
177 views

What is the probability of ice in boiling water?

Ice crystals are spatially ordered, and in every randomness there is a low possibility of temporarily order. If given enough boiling water, and sufficient time, could local clusters water molecules ...
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1answer
480 views

How does this argument imply that entropy does not change in a quasi-static adiabatic process?

I am working through some notes of Gould and Tabochnik here and I am confused by their argument showing that entropy does not change in a quasi-static adiabatic process. First, entropy is defined to ...
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216 views

Significance for LQG of Sen's result on entropy of black holes?

Sen 2013 says, ...we apply Euclidean gravity to compute logarithmic corrections to the entropy of various non-extremal black holes in different dimensions [...] For Schwarzschild black holes in ...
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1answer
87 views

Would the universe get consumed by blackholes because of entropy?

Since the total entropy of the universe is increasing because of spontaneous processes, black holes form because of entropy (correct me if I'm wrong), and the universe is always expanding, would the ...
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1answer
108 views

Mixed quantum states and “complete knowledge of the system”

I ran across this statement in a professor's notes and I think it's just a typo, but I wanted to take the opportunity to check my understanding. So in his notes it says: even if we have complete ...
2
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3answers
656 views

What is the relationship between the second law of thermodynamics and evolution?

On one hand evolution seems to drive against the second law in that it creates a state of (locally) higher order. On the other hand the second law seems to drives evolution - in the sense that it ...
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319 views

How do you define a reversible path for general processes?

The equation $dS = \frac{\delta Q}{T}$ is only defined for a reversible path. Given a irreversible path we typically calculate the entropy by choosing a reversible path from the same initial to final ...
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1answer
53 views

Experiment dropping electrons into glass of protons

So, when you drop dye into a glass of water the dye spreads out. Now I realize you cant simply replace the water in the glass with protons (or a pure concoction of electrons) but I am wondering... ...
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1k views

Why the dissolution of hydrophobic compounds decreases the entropy of water molecules in the vicinity of the solute?

The following is a quote from Lehninger's Principles of Biochemistry, 4th edition, pg.52: (...) dissolving hydrophobic compounds in water produces a measurable decrease in entropy. Water ...
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1answer
235 views

Can exergy and exergy destruction be understood through thermodynamical and/or statistical-mechanical principles?

My textbook Fundamentals of engineering thermodynamics, Moran and Shapiro states: The exergy is the maximum theoretical work obtainable for an overall system consisting of a system and the ...
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1answer
488 views

How certain is the heat death of the universe?

According to our current scientific knowledge, how certain is it that heat death shall be the ultimate fate of our universe, and why? Are there any serious hypotheses competing with heat death, and if ...
2
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1answer
617 views

Entropy with infinite baths

I'm struggling with the following problem: (Stephen J. Blundell, Concepts in Thermal Physics S. 154 Problem 14.5): A block of lead of heat capacity 1kJ/K is cooled from 200K to 100K in two ...
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2answers
319 views

Any closed system?

Is there any physical example of a real closed system? I am aware that the whole universe can be considered as a closed system, but I am looking for a smaller example.
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1answer
223 views

Can anyone explain the idea behind dS ∝ dV/V?

In a lecture on entropy, one of the equations $dS ∝ \frac {dV}{V}$ was explained as "a fractional change in volume as a measure of the increase in randomness" (related to $\frac{dQ}{T}$) How does ...
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202 views

Gauge fixing the Einstein's gravity action

This is in reference to this paper, arXiv:1204.4061. I was wondering if someone can give me a reference which explains this gravitational gauge fixing that they have done in $2.10$ and how that ...
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123 views

How irreversible processes are possible?

Susskind says that all laws of mechanics are reversible and any valid mechanic law most be reversible: you can always determine the previous state of any physically valid system. However, the simplest ...
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111 views

In calculating entropy, why can the partitioning of an ensemble into microstates be chosen “somewhat arbitrarily”?

I'm confused by statistical entropy. It seems to me like the number of microstates for a given macrostate would increase without bound as finer partitionings of the phase space are chosen. Why is it ...
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1answer
136 views

Explain entropy (again)

I think I understand entropy finally. Will you verify for me? $$S = k_B \ln( \Omega)$$ where $\Omega$ (the multiplicity) is the degeneracy of the system at some energy (E)? So if the system is a ...
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75 views

Are there anti entropic agents [duplicate]

The entropy of an isolated system always increases, Considering an intelligent actor in the system who can organise different objects in the system, doesnt the measure of disorder reduce albeit for ...
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392 views

Theoretical or experimental violations of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics? [closed]

Theoretical challenges to the 2nd Law? What are some the theoretical challenges to the 2nd Law? (cf. Čápek, Vladislav, and Daniel P. Sheehan. Challenges to the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Theory ...
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462 views

Why doesnt this violate 2nd law of thermodynamics?

Consider an ideal gas in a cylindrical container in a gravitational field, with a piston on top pushing down by gravity. The piston has some locking mechanism that locks it in place if it is displaced ...
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509 views

How does that Boltzmann distribution interact with entropy?

In an ideal gas, the Boltzmann distribution predicts a distribution of particle energies $E_i$ proportional to $ge^{-E_i/k_bT}$. But, doesn't entropy dictate that the system will always progress ...
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3answers
352 views

Is there really such a thing as an irreversible process?

If an isolated system goes from a state A to B, will it always eventually fluctuate back to state A? If not, give an simple example. Is it right to say that entropy only says that the probability ...
2
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1answer
610 views

Volume quotient in Carnot-cycle

Problem: One kilomole of an ideal, monatomic gas undergoes a reversible Carnot-processes between temperatures 300 °C and 20 °C. The work done during one cycle is 1500 kJ. a) Find the ...
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871 views

Intuitive understanding of the definition of entropy

In Wikipedia, the definition of entropy goes like this: $ d S = \dfrac{\delta q_{\rm }}{T}$. The literal interpretation of this equation is that some amount of heat transferred into a system, if the ...
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Why does the nature always prefer low energy and maximum entropy?

Why does the nature always prefer low energy and maximum entropy? I've just learned electrostatics and I still have no idea why like charges repel each other. ...
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5answers
2k views

Why isn't absolute $0 K$ temperature possible?

So $T$ is defined as $$T = \left(\frac{\partial E}{\partial S}\right)$$ and $S$ is defined as $$S = k_B \ln \Omega$$ where $\Omega$ is the number of accessible states of the system for a given ...
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Victorian cosmology after the second law of thermodynamics but before relativity?

In the 19th century, most astronomers adopted an island universe model, in which our galaxy was the only object in an infinite space. They didn't know that the "spiral nebulae" were other galaxies. ...
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Entropy and Crystal Growth

I was reading about growing single crystals and I'm a little confused about this - In most crystal growing processes, a "seed crystal" is used, and the rest of the material crystallizes on the seed ...