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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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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188 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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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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464 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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282 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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118 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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344 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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1answer
281 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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213 views

The definition of entropy

As history of thermodynamics say, it was a mystery that what is the required condition for a given energy conversion to take place? Like there are two possible events each conserving energy but only ...
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784 views

Entropy and how it applies to everyday activities like eating food

So I was eating a plate of food one day and thought of entropy. As I understand the definition of entropy, it is the logarithm of the number of arrangements or states the object in question can be in, ...
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465 views

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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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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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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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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840 views

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 ...
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1answer
261 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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414 views

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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1answer
221 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 ...
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110 views

Deriving entanglement entropy from Renyi entropy

My questions are based on this paper - http://arxiv.org/abs/0905.4013 Firstly I want to know as to whether some assumptions are needed about the relationship between the systems $A$ and $B$ for the ...
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1answer
328 views

How much energy Maxwell's demon will earn?

Suppose we have one mole of one-atom ideal gas at temperature $T$. Suppose Maxwell's daemon has separated molecules into two sections, one with speed below mean and another with speed above mean. ...
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91 views

Super cooled steam and entropy change

I was thinking about a situation where I have some super cooled steam which suddenly freezes to water.What are the entropy changes(positive or negative) for the system and the universe? My ...
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411 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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853 views

Why does the law of increasing entropy, a law arising from statistics of many particles, underpin modern physics?

As far as I interpret it, the law of ever increasing entropy states that "a system will always move towards the most disordered state, never in the other direction". Now, I understand why it would ...
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Is it correct to assume that a stretched rubber-band has negative entropy change?

If so, how could we express it in equations connecting S,T,Q? I was wondering if the net change is heat transfer was positive; Since we could feel the heat when it is stretched.
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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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466 views

Chance of objects going against greater entropy?

My book uses the argument that the multiplicities of a few macrostates in a macroscopic object take up an extraordinarily large share of all possible microstates, such that even over the entire ...
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293 views

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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1answer
92 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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119 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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20 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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150 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 ...
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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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1answer
186 views

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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374 views

Why is the maximum work achieved in reversible processes?

Let us consider an ideal gas. Let it be present initially in a state $(p_1,v_1,t_1)$. Now let it be driven to another state $(p_2,v_2,t_2)$. Why is it so that during this process the maximum work can ...
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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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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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297 views

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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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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383 views

Entropy and Big Bang aren't mutually exclusible? [closed]

There are some principles in entropy im having trouble understanding. If Entropy requires that the energy in the universe must always been constant, shouldnt in theory 'Heat Death' have occurred since ...
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1answer
73 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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277 views

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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Entropy of radiation emitted into space

In several papers I see something equivalent to the following expression for the entropy of radiation given by an astronomical object such as the Sun (assuming the object can be approximated as a ...
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58 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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42 views

Finding a paper about error analysis in DNA sequencing in solid state nanopores using entropy meta-heuristics

I attended a talk at the APS March Meeting in Baltimore with the following abstract: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR13/Event/186412 I have been trying to find a paper that covers the topic of ...
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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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42 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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Does high entropy means low symmetry?

According to Bogolubov postulate (various texts name it differently) in Non-equilibrium thermodynamics, the number of needed parameters to describe our system is decreasing with time, and finally at ...
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200 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 ...
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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 ...