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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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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123 views

What is the effect of phase transition on the thermodynamic state variables of a material?

When a material undergoes a phase transition, it releases an amount of heat (under a specific temperature). So the effect of the phase transition on entropy would be equal to: \begin{align} \frac{L}{...
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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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2answers
438 views

Will entropy continue to increase even if the universe begins to contract?

If the universe is heading for a big crunch, when the universe starts to collapse will entropy decrease and the arrow of time consequently reverse or not? I'm interested in the explanations, not just ...
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77 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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Motivation for the use of Tsallis entropy

Every now and again I hear something about Tsallis entropy, $$ S_q(\{p_i\}) = \frac{1}{q-1}\left( 1- \sum_i p_i^q \right), \tag{1} $$ and I decided to finally get around to investigating it. I haven't ...
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Entropy increase vs Conservation of information (QM)

Unitarity of quantum mechanics prohibits information destruction. On the other hand, the second law of thermodynamics claims entropy to be increasing. If entropy is to be thought of as a measure of ...
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3answers
531 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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324 views

Bekenstein entropy black hole v.s Hawking entropy black hole

Historically, Bekenstein estimated the entropy associated with a black hole in 1973, obtaining: $$ S_B = \frac{\ln(2)k_Bc^3}{8\pi\hbar G}A. $$ He already acknowledges in his article that his estimates ...
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651 views

How does Landauer's Principle apply in quantum (and generally reversible) computing

I understand that a reversible computer does not dissipate heat through the Landauer's principle whilst running - the memory state at all times is a bijective function of the state at any other time. ...
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354 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 ...
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463 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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643 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 entropy-...
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399 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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3answers
928 views

Intuitive understanding of the entropy equation

In thermodynamics, entropy is defined as $ d S = \dfrac{\delta q_{\rm }}{T}$. This definition guarantees that heat will transfer from hot to cold, which is the second law of thermodynamics. But, why ...
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786 views

``What is life?'' by a physicist definition [closed]

The question is about defining ``What is life?'' in the field of Physics. Whether there is any (insightful) way of defining ``What is life?'' from physicists. There are pioneer works, including ...
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3answers
894 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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4answers
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Are reversible adiabatic processes always isentropic?

If my understanding is correct, neither reversible nor adiabatic processes are necessarily isentropic. But are reversible adiabatic processes always isentropic?
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5answers
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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 $E$....
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How do you prove the second law of thermodynamics from statistical mechanics?

How do you prove the second law of thermodynamics from statistical mechanics? To prove entropy will only increase with time? How to prove? Please guide.
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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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2k views

Equation of state of a rubber band

I have the following question that I attached in png format. I have done part (a), but I am having difficulties in part (b) when I proceed according to the book. I have non zero tension at ...
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476 views

Second Law of Thermodynamics…confusion over an example

By the second law of thermodynamics, you shouldn't be able to use any amount of mirrors/lenses to focus sunlight onto an object and heat it past the surface temperature of the sun (approximately 5800K)...
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How does the entropy of an isolated system increase?

The change of entropy is defined $$\Delta S = \int \frac{dQ_\mathrm{rev}}{T}.$$ If a system is isolated the heat transfer between the system and the surroundings is zero ($dQ = 0$), thus $\Delta S = ...
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Is it possible for the entropy in an isolated system to decrease?

As far as I can tell, the concept of entropy is a purely statistical one. In my engineering thermodynamics course we were told that the second law of Thermodynamics states that "the entropy of an ...
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403 views

Does a universe experiencing “heat death” have a temperature?

As defined by Wikipedia: The heat death of the universe is a suggested ultimate fate of the universe in which the universe has diminished to a state of no thermodynamic free energy and ...
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433 views

The surface area to volume ratio of a sphere and the Bekenstein bound

I am trying to relate the surface-area-to-volume-ratio of a sphere to the Bekenstein bound. Since the surface-area-to-volume-ratio decreases with increasing volume, one would surmise that, per unit of ...
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29 views

Entropy used to calculate energy?

I'm currently reading an online article, and below is a quote from that article: The thermodynamic entropy to change $n$ memory cells within $m$ states is $ΔS=k_B\ln(m^n)$, where $k_B$ is the ...
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765 views

What is the importance of state functions in physics?

I'm currently reading about the Carnot cycle and its significance on the formulation of entropy (because I want to try to understand the concept better), but I can't seem to answer the following ...
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345 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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961 views

Entropy as an arrow of time

From what I understand, entropy is a concept defined by the experimentalist due to his ignorance of the exact microstate of a system. To say the number of accessible microstates $W$ of the universe is ...
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3answers
392 views

Intuition behind the formula for macroscopic entropy

Wikipedia says that the 'macroscopic' definition of entropy is: $$ \Delta S = \displaystyle \int \dfrac{dQ_{\rm rev}}{T}$$ Where $T$ is the uniform absolute temperature of a closed system and $dQ_{\...
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542 views

Casimir effect as an entropic force

When I first learned about the depletion interaction, my initial reaction was that it looks very similar to the Casimir effect. On making this remark to the professor, he replied somewhat mystically: "...
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Entropy of the Sun

Is it possible to measure or calculate the total entropy of the Sun? Assuming it changes over time, what are its current first and second derivatives w.r.t. time? What is our prediction on its ...
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182 views

Is there a known generalization of the Schmidt decomposition based on a maximal set of “locally recorded branches”?

I came across an unusual multi-partite generalization of the Schmidt decomposition in my work, which I describe below. Usually, when people say "a multi-partite Schmidt decomposition", they mean a ...
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Calculating the ideal mixing entropy using Gibbs' entropy formula

Two distinguishable gases are in separate volumes $xV$ and $(1-x)V$ $(x\in [0,1])$ respectively, and the number of particles on each side is $xN$ and $(1-x)N$ respectively. The volumes are separated ...
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214 views

Why do organisms accumulate potential energy?

I can understand that animals need some battaries to run. But, we learn that plants serve like batteries for animals because they accumulate the sun energy in the first place! You can eat them or burn ...
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Should entropy have units and temperature in terms of energy? [duplicate]

I've been thinking about entropy for a while and why it is a confusing concept and many references are filled with varying descriptions of something that is a statistical probability (arrows of time, ...
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1answer
140 views

Local decoherence and entropy

Consider a quantum system consisting of two subsystems, $A$ and $B$. Let $\rho$ be the density matrix of the whole system $A\cup B$. Let $|\alpha\rangle$, $\alpha = 1,2\cdots d_B$, be the states of ...
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The statistical nature of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Ok, so entropy increases... This is supposed to be an absolute statement about entropy. But then someone imagines a box with a 10 particle gas, and finds that every now and then all particles are in ...
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63 views

Which pressure to use in the $T~ds$ equation?

Let's say I have an adiabatic, rigid, open container that has an amount of air at some pressure, $P_\text{cv}$, and some temperature, $T_\text{cv}$. I have heated pressurized air coming into the ...
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3answers
634 views

Shouldn't the sign of generated entropy always be positive?

I have a process where 10 g of liquid lead at 400 C is dropped into a water bath that is at 25 C. The lead solidifies over time and comes to thermal equilibrium with the water bath. The bath is so ...
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47 views

What is Verlinde's statistical description of gravity as an entropic force? [duplicate]

What is Verlinde's statistical description of gravity as an entropic force leads to the correct inverse square distance law of attraction between classical bodies?
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1answer
528 views

Why do humans like to break the second law of thermodynamics? [closed]

Roughly speaking, Entropy is a measure of the disorder of a system. However as humans, we tend to do the complete opposite. For instance, in a home if a painting that is hanging on the wall is crooked,...
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1answer
281 views

Mathematical form of chemical potential difference and entropy production

I'm trying to understand the form of the 'force' which drives chemical reactions, ie. the difference in chemical potential, also sometimes called the 'affinity'. $$\Delta \mu = - kT ln \frac{J_+}{J_-}$...
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783 views

What is physics behind States of matter?

States of matter in physics are the distinct forms that different phases of matter take on. Four states of matter are observable in everyday life: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. What is physics ...
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Perpetual motion machine of the second kind possible in nano technology?

First of all sorry for my English - it is not my native language. During my engineering studies at the university the thermodynamics professor told us that the "second law of thermodynamics is not ...
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What is Mathematical formulation of entropic Gravitational force?

There are people proposing the possibility of using entropic force to explain the gravity force between objects. The emphasis is that entropy is more fundamental than energy. It is the closest study ...
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995 views

Time travel and entropy

I saw a post on reddit regarding immortality and how it would never be possible due to entropy. That said, assuming time travel was possible, would it not be possible to never reach this state of ...
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651 views

Entropy and Information

Several posts and my classes in thermodynamics equate increase in entropy with loss of information. Shannon clearly showed that the information content of a message is zero when its entropy is zero ...