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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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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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 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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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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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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61 views

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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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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Was the Universe's entropy equal to zero at the Big Bang? Is zero-entropy state unique?

It is postulated by many cosmologists that at the Big Bang time the universe was in an unusual low entropy state. Does this claim specifically mean that the entropy of the initial universe was zero? ...
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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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Why is (von Neumann) entropy maximized for an ensemble in thermal equilibrium?

Consider a quantum system in thermal equilibrium with a heat bath. In determining the density operator of the system, the usual procedure is to maximize the von Neumann entropy subject to 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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Integrating factor $1/T$ in 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

How would you prove that $1/T$ is the most suitable integrating factor to transform $\delta Q$ to an exact differential in the second law of thermodynamics: $$dS = \frac{\delta Q}{T}$$ Where $dS$ is ...
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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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62 views

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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How can the microstates be measured with zero energy expenditure?

James P. Sethna. Statistical Mechanics. Exercise 5.2: What prevents a Maxwellian demon from using an atom in an unknown state to extract work? The demon must first measure which side of 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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116 views

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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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 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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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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Where does deleted information go?

I've heard that, in classical and quantum mechanics, the law of conservation of information holds. I always wonder where my deleted files and folders have gone on my computer. It must be somewhere I ...
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46 views

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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725 views

Calculating the change in entropy in a melting process

I have a homework question that I'm completely stumped on and need help solving it. I have a $50\, \mathrm{g}$ ice cube at $-15\, \mathrm{C}$ that is in a container of $200\, \mathrm{g}$ of water at ...
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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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Modeling a list with a tunable degree of disorder/shuffling

Imagine we have a list of ordered numbers $L = (1, 2,\dots, N)$. I want to add an arbitrary amount of "disorder" to that list. For instance: Adding a little bit of disorder would permute a few ...
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71 views

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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50 views

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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256 views

Why does $S = k_B \ln W$ not always apply?

I thought for a long time that the Boltzmann formula for entropy, $S = k_B \ln W$, was a universally true statement, or rather the definition of entropy from the perspective of statistical mechanics. ...
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1answer
848 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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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 ...
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How does dark matter collapse?: Entropy considerations

Inspired by this question. I believe that the usual explanation that preserves the second law of thermodynamics as an astrophysical gas cloud collapses under gravity is that the gas must heat and ...
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101 views

Why doesn't a Brownian ratchet provide free energy?

A Brownian ratchet is described here at Wikipedia. The "why it fails" section reads: Feynman demonstrated that if the entire device is at the same temperature, the ratchet will not rotate ...
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Imaginary time is to inverse temperature what imaginary entropy is to …?

The Wick-Rotation rotates imaginary time into inverse temperature (as can be seen from its "rotating" the Schrödinger equation into the heat equation). Now since entropy is temperature's conjugate, I ...
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Homemade salad dressing separates into layers after it sits for a while. Why doesn't this violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics?

The oil, vinegar and other liquids in homemade salad dressing separate into layers after sitting for a while, making the mixture become more organized as time evolves. Why doesn't this violate the ...
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2answers
383 views

Why can we say that $\bar{d}Q=TdS$?

When we introduce entropy we do this by saying that: $$\bar{d}Q=TdS.$$ Now I was wondering why this should be true? I know that by looking at a Carnot cycle, we do get this relation for reversible ...
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Does entropy increases due to gravity? [closed]

Imagine travelling to the surface of a neutron star where the very intense gravity would make you weigh 140 trillion times more than we do on earth. It's enough to significantly raise the entropy of ...
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101 views

entropy of a long molecule chain with respect to its length

Consider a (very long) one-dimensional chain of $N$ moleculs, which can be in either of the energy states $\alpha$ or $\beta$. The configurations have length $a$ or $b$ respectively. Show ...
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Contradiction on Entropy of the “universe” decreasing

I have hit what seems to be a contradiction concerning entropy. In my class, we measured the entropy change of photosynthesis which is obviously a non-spontaneous process. We used the formula, ...
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What is the conceptual difference between Gibbs and Boltzmann entropies?

In simple words what is the conceptual difference between Gibbs and Boltzmann entropies? Gibbs entropy: $S=-k_B\sum p_i\ln p_i$ Boltzmann entropy: $S=-k_B\ln \Omega$
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Calculating entropy [duplicate]

Suppose 30 gram of metal Gallium melts at 36 °C. The specific heat of fusion is 80.3 kJ/kg and the melting temperature is 29.9 °C. Explain if the melting of the Gallium in this process is ...
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How much of elastic energy is stored as entropy?

There are two cases of elastic stretching: springs and rubber. When you streach a spring or a piece of rubber both absorb some energy as Entropy (S) and some as plain energy (U) $$\displaystyle{ ...
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Explicit form of the entropy production in hydrodynamics

I'm trying to understand how hydrodynamics arise from a precise, mathematical formulation of thermodynamics, learning mostly from Landau's "Hydrodynamics". So Landau starts from formulating the ...
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Consequences of Entropy/Information Reversal in a System?

Can pairs of different physical systems be symmetrical under a process which would turn one of these physical system's entropic and informational contents into another system's respective ...
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What is the relationship between Energy, Entropy, and Information?

What is the relationship between Energy, Entropy, and Information? I read this - What Is Energy? Where did it come from? - and the top answer says that 'energy' is an abstract number that is a ...
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Difference between irreversible and entropy?

Cedric Villani recently wrote an article on Landau damping, where at least one topic discussed confused me. Besides discussing the issue of how a process can be microscopically reversible and ...
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How is the logarithmic correction to the entropy of a non extremal black hole derived?

I`ve just read, that for non extremal black holes, there exists a logarithmic (and other) correction(s) to the well known term proportional to the area of the horizon such that $S = \frac{A}{4G} + K ...