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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Is there a thermodynamic limit on how efficiently you can solve a Rubik's cube?

Suppose I build a machine which will be given Rubik's cubes that have been scrambled to one of the $\sim 2^{65}$ possible positions of the cube, chosen uniformly at random. Is it possible for the ...
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Prove that $-\log{d} \leq H(A|B) \leq \log{d}$ for von Neumann entropy

I'm trying to prove that $-\log{d} \leq H(A|B) \leq \log{d}$ for von Neumann entropy. Now, for this to make sense I should give some definitions. System $A$ lives in Hilbert space ...
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34 views

Is the equilibrium state in thermodynamics a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics?

Is the thermal equilibrium state the state of maximum entropy? Is it a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics?
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Behavior of maximum entropy states in a closed system?

As I understand it, entropy is a measure of the number of permutations of microstates of a system possible, without changing the observed 'macrostate variables' / measurements or properties of a ...
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57 views

How does the universe store information

I have read that entropy is responsible for the storage of information in the universe; that information increases with entropy increase. and that information is never lost. Is this correct? But ...
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96 views

Ideal chain / entropic spring - what is the *microscopic* force?

The ideal chain is the classic example of an entropic force. Usually one derives this force from the fundamental relation describing forces in the canonical ensemble: $$ \tag 1 F = (\partial \langle E ...
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Does Noether's theorem apply to entropy?

Entropy appears to have a translation symmetry - adding some constant value to it doesn't appear to my fairly rudimentary understanding of physics alter the actual physics. Is this correct? Now ...
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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 ...
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109 views

Definition of Entropy for reversible and irreversible process

$\int \dfrac{\delta Q}{T}$ can't be used to calculate entropy of an irreversible process. If you happen to know heat supplied and temperature at which it is supplied for just an instant. Can you then ...
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Entropy of loops in the PV plane

The change in entropy of the Carnot and reversible cycles is said to be 0. Several other loops are supposed to have a non-negative change in entropy. This presents 2 problems which I cannot ...
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Is Boltzmann distribution contradicting with the fundamental assumption of statistical thermodynamics?

In equilibrium statistical physics the fundamental assumption of statistical thermodynamics states that the occupation of any microstate is equally probable (i.e. $p_i=1/\Omega, S=-k_B\sum p_i\,{\rm ...
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Entropy of the whole universe

In "Thermal Physics", Charles Kittel proves that entropy always increases in systems when the degree of freedom are increased (adding particles, adding energy, expanding volume, etc ). I started to ...
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125 views

The Big Crunch and perceived entropy

I'm aware of the Big Crunch theory, that once at capacity, the universe may collapse in on itself. Hawking once theorized that time may go backwards during this crunch. So, that got me thinking: how ...
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What was the entropy of the universe at the time of the Big Bang?

(I asked this question in Philosophy.SE; but I was advised to direct it here, despite it is, in my opinion, somewhat too speculative for physics.SE). High entropy generally means high disorder; and ...
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Will Ice Cubes Form Quicker when Made from Hot Water or Cold Water? [duplicate]

When you put water in the freezer you can make Ice Cubes. But does the time taken for these Ice Cubes to form decrease or increase when the water which is used is hotter or colder?
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Why does heat added to a system at a lower temperature cause higher entropy increase?

Entropy is defined in my book as $\Delta\ S = \frac{Q}{T}$. To derive the formula it says that entropy should be directly proportional to the heat energy as with more energy the particles would be ...
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The initial presumed temperature of the universe is derived from data?

When people mention the BBT (*) they assume that it is hot. As late as 1988 it was scientifically proposed a cold BB model (WP) The initial presumed temperature of the universe is derived from ...
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Light Polarizer and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

I have stumped myself with a thought experiment of my own devising. Suppose I take a beam of wholly depolarised, but otherwise plane wave light. Its von Neumann entropy per photon is $\log(2)$ nats ...
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First law of thermodynamics [closed]

In the first law of thermodynamics, we learned that $W$ and $Q$ are path-dependent quantities, but how are $Q$ and $W$ defined? I mean $W = \int_{\gamma} p(s) ds$ would be one possibility, where ...
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99 views

Why Does Air Hold More Water When the Air is Warmer?

I know that when the temperature of the air rises, the maximum amount of Water it can hold before the water condenses to water droplets increases. But why is this - has it got something to do with ...
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128 views

Isentropic efficiency of gas expansion process

let a compressed gas expand. If the process is isentropic, the relationship between its temperature before expansion, and its temperature after expansion is related to its heat capacity ratio. The ...
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Do the number of possible microstates increase as temperature decreases?

Entropy change, $\Delta{S}$, can be found from the $\frac{1}{T} - Q$ graph. When the temperature doesn't change during the dispersal of heat energy in the system, the area under the graph is more, ...
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20 views

Probability polytope and entropy

Say I have a trit, for which all possible distributions are described by the positive surface of the diamond polytope (the surface being an equilateral triangle). The centre of this triangle is the ...
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Residual Entropy - Third Law

I've been told that many systems possess some residual entropy at absolute zero. This would seem to disagree with the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics? How can this be explained physically speaking? I am ...
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Exorcism of Maxwell's Demon

I am possessed! Yes, with the thinking that if there is actually a Maxwell's Demon, then it would open the negligible weighted door which would ultimately make the second law invalid. But really can ...
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No Hair systems and black hole entropy

To my understanding, a black hole is a no hair system. So it can be described just by its mass, spin and charge. In other words it does not differentiate where its mass comes from, so it could be made ...
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Entropy Change in an irreversible process

I have just started learning thermodynamics and the concept of entropy confuses me. Suppose I have a gas in a cylindrical container fitted with a piston. I take it through an adiabatic irreversible ...
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If entropy is increasing does it mean universe is non-deterministic?

I watched some video where they said entropy can be considered as information. They also stated that universe's entropy is always increasing... Now here comes the problem my IT mind can't understand: ...
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Entropy change in irreversible heat flow

For an irreversible heat flow from an object $A$ at temperature $T_A$ and another object $B$ at temperature $T_B < T_A$ , I'd like to know how to evaluate the change in entropy using the following ...
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How did Planck use the concept of statistical entropy in trying to understand the meaning of his own law?

I was reading Introducing Quantum Theory: A graphic guide (by J.P.McEvoy & Oscar Zarate) and came across Planck's predicament of understanding his very own law that accurately explained the ...
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Physical Meaning Of $ dQ/T $ Regarding Clausius Inequality: Is it related to Energy Loss in form of heat or Something Else?

What is the physical meaning of term $ dQ/T $ in Clausius Inequality $ dQ/T \le dS $ ? Physically we can relate entropy to number of microstates of a system, which relates to number of possible ...
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How does the second law of thermodynamics follow from low entropy of early universe?

One of the explanations of the second law of thermodynamics is that it goes back to the low entropy in the early universe (How do you prove the second law of thermodynamics from statistical ...
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What are the hypothetic cases when entropy of a closed system may decrease? [closed]

What are the hypothetical possibilities that entropy of a closed system may decrease? I would accept plausible but hypothetical setups. For instance, Non-trivial timeline topology (closed timelike ...
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42 views

Deriving an Expression for Helmoltz free energy

Given the equations of states for an isolated system: $$E=\frac32 pV$$ $$p=aVT^4$$ I was asked to find the Helmoltz free energy per particle, $F=E-TS$, as a function of $T$ and $V$. I began with the ...
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Was the Big Bang actually cold?

As I understand, from watching the Discovery Channel, the total amount of energy in the universe is zero. As such, people like Hawking explain that the universe can be created out of nothing ...
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Is entropy related to Poincare recurrence time?

One of the ideas involved in the concept of entropy is that nature tends from order to disorder in isolated systems. But we even know that Poincare recurrence time also is a particular time after ...
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second law of thermodynamics

I'm a high school rookie learning thermodynamics right now by myself. I got really confused that the second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of the universe is always increasing. If the ...
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Why do you want to maximise the entropy when deriving Boltzmann's distribution?

I am sure this has a simple answer, but I can't seem to get my head around in at the moment. I am going through the derivation of the Boltzmann distribution through maximising entropy through the ...
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The relationship between the two statistical mechanical definitions of entropy

It seems like similar questions have been asked here; hopefully my question is not a duplicate. I am reading my textbook on the statistical mechanical definitions of entropy, and I am very confused ...
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What is the entropy of a pure state?

Well, zero of course. Because $S = -\text{tr}(\rho \ln \rho)$ and $\rho$ for a pure state gives zero entropy. But... all quantum states are really pure states right? A mixed state just describes ...
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Death by entropy

An idea struck me as I was walking to class today. According to Wikipedia, entropy is defined as the number of specific ways in which a thermodynamic system may be arranged, commonly understood as a ...
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Doesn't entropy increase backwards in time, too?

In statistical explanations of entropy, we can often read about a (thought) experiment of the following sort. We have a bunch of particles in box, packed densely in one of the corners. We assume some ...
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Entropy of ideal gas with finite volume

I know that the entropy of an ideal gas is given by the Sackur-Tetrode equation, but is there also a way to take into account that even the ideal gas will acquire some volume $v_0$? Or is it then just ...
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Comparison between entropy and internal energy

Why is entropy change a better way of determining a spontaneous process compared to the change in internal energy?
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What is the connection between the non-reversibility of the decay of unstable nuclei (as Uranium, Plutonium) and the 2nd principle of thermodynamics?

The 2nd principle of the thermodynamics says that if a system (e.g. an ideal gas) is left undisturbed, its number of microscopic states only increases. This is a statement of irreversibility of the ...
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Second Law from Statistics

Hi all I hope you can help me with the statistical origins of the Second Law. I cannot find anything that mathematically proves that order from disorder is impossible only improbable Leading me to ...
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Statistics of many body systems in pure states

My understanding of describing a system in thermal equilibrium is that we introduce an ideal thermal reservoir for convenience and then imagine that the system+reservoir samples all states of constant ...
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Entropy-A question. [closed]

If I have 100 coins then a macrostate is how many heads/tails I have, a micro state is the facing of each individual coin of the 100, but what then is a "configuration" in this example? It is a basic ...
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Change in Shannon entropy of a quantum circuit of Hadamard gate and a loop

The following Q&A about reversible computing is available here. It has listed a number of practical scenarios where a reversible circuit can still be dissipating heat. Let's assume that none of ...
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Entropy of this system

We have a system with two energy states $E_0$< $E_1=0$. We also know that state $E_0$ can only take at most $m$ particles. Curently, there are $n<m$ particles in $E_0$. Now, I am supposed to ...