A important extensive property of all systems in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and information theory, quantifying their disorder (randomness), i.e., our lack of information about them. It characterizes the degree to which the energy of the system is *not* available to do useful work.

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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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If heat can't be transformed into other forms of entropy, why do hot things radiate electromagnetic waves?

The laws of entropy says entropy can only increase. On the other hand, if I take a hot object, it will naturally convert its heat into EM radiation. How is this possible? Does EM radiation count as ...
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376 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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2k views

Thermodynamics for Dummies: Entropy and temperature

I do not study physics and I have never had a course in thermodynamics. I have no idea what it is about, but I am currently taking a course where we had something about entropy. Would be great if ...
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85 views

Entropy and the $2^{nd}$ law of thermodynamics

I have just been introduced to the word "entropy" and as it is my understanding that it is a measure of the randomness and chaos of particles in as system. My textbook list the 2nd law of ...
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321 views

Dimensionless entropy interpretation

Measuring temperature in joules instead in the artificial units of Kelvin would render entropy as a dimensionless quantity. This is quite appealing since entropy has always been quite a misterious ...
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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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81 views

Why is the entropy of most systems not infinite?

We can define a microstates as follows: Definition 1: A complete specification of the six coordinates of each molecule of a system, within the limits of the dimensions of the cell in which its ...
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475 views

What is the relationship between entropy and work? [closed]

Can someone explain the relationship between entropy and work? I've been reading my textbook and looking online but I feel like I'm missing something. Can someone explain it in layman's terms :)
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Is entropy a meaningful concept on a quantum level?

My naive assumptions, as I really am at a pretty basic stage in QM, are as follows: Classically, entropy gives us a practical measure of the direction of time, as opposed to our physical laws which, ...
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175 views

What causes a eutectic point?

What causes the melting point depression known as a eutectic point? The temperature depression of a eutectic point can be calculated from the enthaplies and entropies of fusion of the two ...
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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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Really how does the entropy of the universe increase?

Universe means the system along with its surroundings. I have always got this statement while studying the second law; be it a thermodynamics book(Sears, Salinger) , physical cihemistry book(Atkins, ...
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Multiplicity vs Partition function

I'm a little confused between all the different notations for the multiplicity and partition function. They're not the same thing, are they? I know that entropy can be expressed as $ S = k \ln\Omega ...
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Luminosity and entropy of a relativistic shell

I am looking to understand more about gamma ray bursts. The review I am reading through describes in equations (111), (112) the luminosity of a relativistic plasma shell, in an inertial frame at rest ...
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82 views

Reversible cycle approximated by Carnot cycles

My textbook, W.E. Gettys, F.J. Keller, M.J. Skove, Physics 1, gives the definition of a reversible transformation as a transformation that can be inverted by effectuating only infinitesimal changes in ...
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Is lost work always positive? How to approve?

I am dealing with a question asking for comment on the sign of lost work. The case is to consider an irreversible process and a reversible process which share the same starting and ending state. Is ...
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105 views

Second Law of Thermodynamics and heating a blackbody with another blackbody

Given a large blackbody with surface area $A_1$ and temperature $T_1$, let's assume I can use some mirror and lens system to capture all the emitted radiation and transfer this energy to a smaller ...
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Black hole entropy versus entropy of normal matter

It has been established that the entropy of a black hole is equal to: $$ \frac{1}{4} \frac{c^3 A}{ G \hbar} k$$ Which if one substitutes for A the surface area of the event horizon: ...
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Is it true that all processes where entropy increases are permitted by the second law, if the system is isolated?

It is possible to deduce that in a thermodynamic process for an isolated system $\mathrm{d}S$ has to be greater than zero, from this it follows trivially that $ \Delta S > 0$. It is usually said ...
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How does entropy ensure that isolated thermal processes are 100% irreversible?

How can anyone prove that molecules in figure C will never return to their original positions in figure A? It will be more believable to say that the chance is very slim.
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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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370 views

Is this derivation of Black Hole entropy viable?

This question is motivated by this one. Suppose $l$ is the minimum measurable unit of length. What is entropy of a spinless particle contained in this interval? We know that entropy of a two-level ...
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203 views

Mechanism of Hawking's radiation and entropy of the black hole

During Hawking's radiation, a virtual particle with negative energy and mass (from pair of particle and antiparticle) fall into black hole and its real partner having positive energy escape from ...
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142 views

Entropy of Black Hole

What is the relation between the entropy of rotating and non rotating Black hole? Which one has greater entropy?
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143 views

Exploding planets and entropy

Say we have a planet and we blow it up to tiny pieces that gets spread out in a cloud of debris around the planets original location. This cloud of debris is analogue to a cloud of water wapor in ...
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Expression of heat by the Brownian motion

folks. I was reading a paper from PRE and I'm not sure what's going on about the following equation. So for the system composed of two heat baths governed by Brownian motion, the entropy change of the ...
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Why do reversible processes not increase the entropy of the universe infinitesimally?

The book Commonly Asked Questions in Thermodynamics states: When we refer to the passage of the system through a sequence of internal equilibrium states without the establishment of equilibrium ...
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Can higher level animals have lower entropy than the food they consume?

If there is plant source of energy 100Cal and an animal source of energy 100Cal for a human being, where the animal derived that energy from a similar plant source, can we say for sure that the animal ...
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207 views

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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What is the entropy of a mixed state in classical physics?

Consider a classical system which admits certain macroscopic level of description. It is known, that for two pure states $\omega_1$ and $\omega_2$ on this level of description the entropy of the ...
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134 views

Does anti-matter increase or decrease in entropy over time?

Antimatter is matter going backwards through time. From a matter-based observer does antimatter: Increase in entropy (and therefore decrease in entropy in its own time) OR Decrease in entropy ...
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430 views

Black hole entropy

Bekenstein and Hawking derived the expression for black hole entropy as, $$ S_{BH}={c^3 A\over 4 G \hbar}. $$ We know from the hindsight that entropy has statistical interpretation. It is a measure ...
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Where and how is the entropy of a black hole stored?

Where and how is the entropy of a black hole stored? Is it around the horizon? Most of the entanglement entropy across the event horizon lies within Planck distances of it and are short lived. Is ...
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How is information related to energy in physics?

I recently attended a talk by Dr. Ravi Gomatam on 'quantum reality', where the speaker suggested, that conservation of energy is not a fundamental law, and is conditional, but the conservation of ...
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Does entropy increase or decrease as our Universe is expanding?

Scientists say that entropy of our universe is increasing as it is expanding and our universe is cooling down gradually from the time of its birth. If something is getting cooler and cooler, then how ...
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Why it is said that Universe is an isolated system?

I have read in many places "Entropy of an isolated systems never decreases" And as a corollary: "As Universe is an isolated system(I) then its entropy is constantly increasing(II)" I) ...
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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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Can the energy/power required to mix two fluids together be calculated?

Given two fluids; say for example oxygen and nitrogen gases. By simply introducing, again for example 1 liter of each gas into a closed container, the process of diffusion alone will eventually cause ...
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Is amount of entropy subjective?

From all sources I have seen it follows that the proof you can't decrease the amount of entropy in the Universe is given only statistically - the order is just one of the many ways how things can be ...
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Entropy change in Heisenberg picture

If we stick with Heisenberg picture where density matrix $\rho$ is constant, how do we account for entropy increase? I've read the answer to State collapse in the Heisenberg picture but I don't see ...
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Probability of spontaneous Boltzmann brain formation

I was reading through Scott Aaronson's notes (pdf), but I can't make sense of his discussion about Boltzmann brains on p61. Specifically the fact that it says: But the problem is worse. Since in ...
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do relativistic velocities change the apparent entropy content of the moving object?

Imagine a box of hot gas. It has a certain (large) amount of entropy, which we can relate to the amount of information needed to completely specify the position and velocity of every gas particle in ...
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Intuitively, why does removing solutes cost $k_B T$ of free energy per molecule?

I can calculate that if you want to, for example, desalinate water, you will have to pay a free energy cost of $k_B T$ for each ion you remove. In other words, removing an ion from a volume of water ...
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83 views

Does a venturi injector contradict the 2nd law of thermodynamics?

The picture below shows a venturi injector. When the water flow enters the narrower cross section its velocity increases and its pressure decreases. Subsequently, fluid is sucked (or injected) into ...
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279 views

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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How does the heat death looks like from inside the system?

As this answer points out, any human would first freeze rather than experience the heat death. However, assuming hypothetically that we could make some robot live at such low temperature (or even ...
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Find an expression for S(T,x) from tension and specific heat

I'm working on a problem from a Statistical Mechanics lecture series online, and on the homework, I hit a bump in this problem. Here is the problem set, and I'm asking about #1.c. Short version, we ...
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Is there a definition of relative Renyi entropy?

Is there a Renyi entropy analogue of ``$H(X \vert Y)$" ? If yes then is there any known meaning to that? Googling around I found a few different notions, equation 18 here, ...
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Can I measure the volume of a locked room by pumping gas through keyhole and measuring its entropy?

Suppose that I have a locked room and a keyhole in the door and I want to measure the room's volume. Suppose also that I have some "magical" "artificial" inert gas A that doesn't interact with ...