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 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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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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224 views

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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133 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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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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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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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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100 views

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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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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56 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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258 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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942 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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108 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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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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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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378 views

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 ...
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Violation of the second law of thermodynamics? [closed]

Here is a machine which seems to violate the second law of thermodynamics: $A$ and $B$ are point black bodies of the same temperature (initially). everything is rotationally symmetric around the ...
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Why is information indestructible?

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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Isentropic and Isothermal Compressibility

Why isentropic compressibility is greater than isothermal compressibility ? While deriving $C_p$ and $C_v$ relation, I got $\frac{Cp}{Cv}$ as $\frac{ke}{Kt}$. Which tells us that $Ke > Kt$. But ...
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Isentropic process and reversibility [duplicate]

I know that every adiabatic reversible process is an isentropic process. Can a process be isentropic but still not reversible adiabatic? Please provide me some examples.
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How does entropy change when heat is transfer into a system reversibly with constant T?

My guess will be deltaS system : increase [because heat is flowing into the system] deltaS surrounding: decrease [because heat is leaving the environment] deltaS universe (sys+surr) : 0 because it ...
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For change in entropy dS = dq/T, is T the temperature of system or surrounding or both?

For change in entropy dS = dqrev/T, is T the temperature of system or surrounding or both? I am confused about Thot, Tcold, Tsys and Tsurr. If qrev, are we talking about the reversible cycle such as ...
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Is this theory about Universe and information true?

I recently saw this video about information and randomness. At some point, it states that a completely predictable universe would infringe the second law of thermodynamics, because it would imply that ...
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Does the relation between entropy and temperature depend on the ensemble?

If we change the temperature of a given system, there will be a relation between its entropy and temperature S(T). Is S(T) the same in a canonical ensemble and a grand canonical ensemble? If not, is ...
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Entropy and the uncertainty principle

According to the second law of thermodynamics, the total entropy of the Universe must always increase after any interaction (as I understand). So in the hydrogen atom, the electron has a high ...
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135 views

“Violation” of the Second Law

I can't reconcile some facts about entropy and irreversibility. This depresses me, because I feel I can't quite grasp the importance of entropy. I will illustrate my problems with an example given by ...
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Can you choose the variables of a state function?

I'm confused. I was first introduced to entropy as a state function of internal energy and volume $$S(U,V) \Rightarrow dS = C_v\frac{\mathrm{d}T}{T} - p\frac{\mathrm{d}V}{T} $$ wich is the ...
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Helmholtz free energy from a relation for entropy

The Legendre transformation defines the helmholtz free energy (at least according to my lectures) as: $F(T,V,N)=E-TS$ It also says to start with $E(S,V,N)$ and $T=\frac{\partial{E}}{\partial{S}}$ ...
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Has any possible non-extensive entropy been classified?

How many non-extensive entropies do exist? Tsallis, Havrda-Chavrat, Renyi, Kaniadakis, Sharma-Mittal,... To be more precise, I am wondering if some classification like those of "finite" or Lie groups ...