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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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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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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143 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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Natural units of information

In physics entropy is usually measured in nats. I wonder is there a possible model of a physical system which has entropy of discrete number of nats? How particles and degrees of freedom should be ...
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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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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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No hair theorem and black hole entropy

The no hair theorem says that black holes rapidly converge to a state that is completely described just by their mass, spin and charge. Black hole thermodynamics says that the black hole entropy is ...
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82 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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Does the entropy of the Universe increase at a predictable rate?

It is well-known that the total entropy of the Universe is increasing. Is there a function-law (such as linear/quadratic/exponential growth) that describes the rate of increase? Stronger form of the ...
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38 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* ...
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67 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 ...
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125 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 ...
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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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50 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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Boltzmann entropy and phase space volume

In Huang's book on Statistical mechanism and Statistical interpretation of Entropy, it is not mentioned that $\Omega$ is the phase space volume, but it is the states of the system. So, how does ...
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How do you prove $S=-\sum p\ln p$?

How does one prove the formula for entropy $S=-\sum p\ln p$? Obviously systems on the microscopic level are fully determined by the microscopic equations of motion. So if you want to introduce a law ...
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240 views

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 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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64 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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Heuristic argument for forces with respect to entropic force

Here is an argument that I have with regard to entropic forces and how it can be linked to the other forces in nature. Gravitational: This is debated: whether gravity is entropic or not. I am going ...
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187 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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96 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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56 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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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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Is Information a potential or kinetic kind of energy?

It is said that the law of least action is that nature tries to convert potential energy into kinetic one as fast as possible. Information can't be thought without a physical realisation, see here. ...
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How does the internal energy and entropy depend on mass?

I've found this thermodynamics question: Given a fluid described by the following equations: $$PV^{1/3}=aT^3 ,\quad U=3aT^3V^{2/3}, \quad S=\frac{9}{2}aT^2V^{2/3}$$ The parameter $a(n)$ ...
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Is there any optical component that uniformizes the incoming light?

Is there any optical component in existence that uniformizes randomly pointing rays?
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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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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 ...
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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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Does the radius of the Universe correspond to its total entropy?

I heard a claim that due to holographic principle, the surface area of the cosmic horizon corresponds to the universe's total entropy. As such the initial state had zero surface area and later ...
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72 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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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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Why is information indestructable?

I really can't understand what Leonard Susskind means when he says that information is indestructible. Is that information that is lost, through the increase of entropy really recoverable? He ...
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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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Legendre transformation of Entropy as a natural function of T, V, n

I have come across a question asking to get a Legendre transformation of entropy which is a natural function of 1/T, V, n starting from entropy being a natural function of T, V and n. However, I have ...
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140 views

Confusions regarding entropy

Help, I am terribly confused about entropy. On the one hand, I am taught at school that a substance such is an ice/solid has a lower entropy than its gaseous equivalent and that a process such as ...
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109 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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129 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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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110 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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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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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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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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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 ...