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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Energy/entropy in transport of molecules across cell membranes

I'm asking a "Maxwell's Demon" question. I've read statements that sorting molecules and sending them to one side or the other of a barrier requires work, but none of these statements have explained ...
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1answer
36 views

Could one, practically or hypothetically, capture energy from heat using magnetic fields? [closed]

I have had this idea, and I'm not sure if it would work. Heat is a form of chaotic kinetic energy, right?. Would it be possible to create a magnetic field within a gas or liquid so that when the ...
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2answers
584 views

Quantum entropy in term of density matrix

Why in von Neumann expression of quantum entropy we have trace of density matrix expression? Why don't off diagonal term play a role?
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7answers
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How is $\frac{dQ}{T}$ measure of randomness of system?

I am studying entropy and its hard for me to catch up what exactly is entropy. Many articles and books write that entropy is the measure of randomness or disorder of the system. They say when a gas ...
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4answers
3k views

How do you prove $S=-\sum p\ln p$?

How does one prove the formula for entropy $S=-\sum p\ln p$? Obviously systems on the microscopic level are fully determined by the microscopic equations of motion. So if you want to introduce a law ...
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5answers
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Can a single classical particle have any entropy?

recently I have had some exchanges with @Marek regarding entropy of a single classical particle. I always believed that to define entropy one must have some distribution. In Quantum theory, a single ...
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2answers
2k views

Derive the Sackur-Tetrode equation

How do you derive the Sackur-Tetrode equation? I know that you must start off with the multiplicity of a mono-atomic ideal gas: ...
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1answer
329 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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2answers
84 views

Entropy reversal in magnets

Entropy is an irreversible phenomenon without any energy supplied to reverse it. I was reading about paramagnetic substances and how dipoles align inside them on application of magnetic field. My ...
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0answers
125 views

Change in statistical Entropy negative?

I'm currently stuck with a particular problem: The total energy of a set of molecules in an "isolated" container does not change when the container volume expands by a factor of 2, ...
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0answers
19 views

Does 'Entropy-Sated' mean that no 'Order' can be produced from a black hole?

I believe I have a misconception somewhere that I need help to clear up. No-Hair indicates that a black hole created from highly ordered matter with low entropy reaches the same final state as ...
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1answer
80 views

Calculation of Entropy of Debye Solid at High T

I am calculating the kmolar entropy of a Debye solid at low temperature ($T << \theta_D$) and high temperature ($T >> \theta_D$). For the low temperature, I use $U = U_0 + \frac{9 k_B ...
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0answers
59 views

Current status of nonextensive statistical mechanics

A version of the maximum entropy principle is the following. $$\max_{P}~~~ -\sum_i p_i\log p_i$$ subject to all probability distributions $P=\{p_i\}$ satisfying $$\sum_i p_i \epsilon_i = U.$$ ...
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1answer
111 views

Quantum mechanics and second law of thermodynamics

Recently I came across this idea of Gibbs that, it is the coarse-grained entropy that always increases, whereas the fine-grained remains a constant. So classically, coarse graining refuses us some ...
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2answers
190 views

Does the second law of thermodynamics imply a spacetime beginning of the universe?

Recently I have been studying thermodynamics and I noticed a article by a religious person which says that the second law of thermodynamics proves that the universe had a beginning. A spacetime one. ...
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81 views

entropy and dispersion

If I know the positions and the speeds of each particle in a box over the time, how can I compute the entropy ? (I`m making a simulation where I want to show that the disperion of the particles over ...
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1answer
126 views

Can entropy be regarded as energy dispersal?

In several answers here the claim has been made that thermodynamic entropy can be regarded as energy dispersion. See, in particular here, and here and here. This is apparently the pet theory of a ...
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1answer
88 views

Is entropy increase in disorder or 'energy-dispersal'? [duplicate]

My teacher explained entropy like this: It is increase in disorderliness. Take a glass jar put three layers of blue marbles in it then put three further layer of red marbles, now shake the ...
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414 views

Will entropy continue to increase even if the universe begins to contract?

If the universe is heading for a big crunch, when the universe starts to collapse will entropy decrease and the arrow of time consequently reverse or not? I'm interested in the explanations, not just ...
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0answers
49 views

Entropy changes of water

I have a few questions regarding entropy and water. Suppose you cool down water so that it freezes at $273.15K$. How is entropy positive in this case? I have a feeling it may have to do with the ...
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123 views

Entropy: Disorder or energy dispersal?

The first definition of entropy given by Clausius is I believe this $$S=Q/T$$ It is as I understand a common fact to understand entropy and maybe often teach it as a measure of disorder through the ...
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1answer
2k views

Clear up confusion about the meaning of entropy

So I though, and was told, that entropy is the amount of disorder in a system. Specifically the example of heat flow and it flows to maximize entropy. To me this seemed odd. This seemed more ordered ...
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5answers
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Why doesn't the entropy increase when two similar gases mix with each other?

Entropy increases when two substances mix with each other. For example, the entropy of mixing of two different gases are given by $$\Delta S= 2Nk\ln\frac{V_f}{V_i}\;.$$ But, the entropy doesn't ...
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1answer
112 views

What is the physical implication of Clausius inequality?

Clausius inequality is given as: $$\oint \frac{\delta Q_\text{res}}{T_\text{res}} \le 0\;.$$ From Carnot cycle, we get the equality relation as the entropy lost by the hot reservoir is the same as ...
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388 views

Why does slow compression of a gas doesn't change its entropy to increase?

This is quoted from Daniel V Schroeder's Thermal Physics: It's interesting to think about why the slow compression of a gas doesn't change its entropy to increase. One way to think about it is to ...
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2answers
73 views

Why is there no change in internal energy for an isothermal reversible process?

This concept is used for deriving the relation : Change in Entropy = $2.303 \,\ nR \,\ log_{10} (\frac{V_2}{V_1})$ But I don't understand why change in Internal energy = $0$.
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Isentropic processes

I'm having trouble understanding why reversible adiabatic processes are isentropic. I understand that in a reversible adiabatic process there is no heat exchange and so $dQ = TdS = 0.$ However, if ...
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165 views

How does the second law of thermodynamics forbid the possibility of perpetual machine of the second kind?

Fermi in his lecture asserts: The second law of thermodynamics rules out the possibility of constructing a perpetuum mobile of the second kind. So, this means there can be no machine which just ...
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4answers
382 views

Why is entropy's definition useful?

I have somewhat of an understanding for other physical quantities, but as far as entropy goes I only know it to be "disorder". Why is the change in entropy formula an appropriate/useful definition, ...
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64 views

Why doesn't entropy get decreased in adiabatic expansion process?

I was reading the second step of Carnot cycle in which the system undergoes adiabatic expansion doing work & thus decreasing the internal energy of itself. The entropy didn't change as no further ...
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5answers
1k views

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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2answers
218 views

Why must heat supplied in the definition of entropy be reversible? Can't it be irreversible after all it is a state function?

The definition of entropy contains the term $Q_\text{rev}$ which means the heat supplied or taken out reversibly. I thought yes it can be after all only the initial & final states are important as ...
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1answer
2k views

Sackur-Tetrode equation - clarification required - problem with units

I'm a 2nd year physics undergraduate and recently I've volunteered to give a short presentation on the Sackur-Tetrode equation derivation and its use at removing the Gibbs paradox. I've looked on the ...
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2answers
133 views

Why does heat added to a system cause an increase in entropy that is independent of the amount of particles in the system?

Say we have two gas containers of $N_{2}$ at the same temperature of $300 ~\text{K}$, one containing $10^{23}$ particles and the other containing $10^{13}$ particles. If we add a quantity of heat to ...
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1answer
58 views

Thermodynamics - Entropy Change in an Isolated System and the State Postulate

I was thinking about something. Consider a isolated system consisting of hot and cold water in a rigid tank. The process is to basically to let them reach an equilibrium temperature. Now, because it's ...
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1answer
85 views

Why is the change in entropy greater for processes occurring at lower temperatures? [duplicate]

We have the thermodynamic definition of entropy $\Delta S = q_{rev}/T$. If heat transfer is the same for both processes at different temperatures, this implies that the same process occurring at lower ...
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0answers
110 views

Le Chatelier's principle and energy minimization

In Callen's "Thermodynamics" in section 8.5 he asks us to imagine some perturbation $dX$ of an extensive parameter of a system in contact with a reservoir that acts to hold fixed the intensive ...
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2answers
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The definition of entropy in quantum mechanics

I have seen entropy with several different definitions. Like Von Neumann entropy and Rényi entropy, etc. So I am curious why there are so many different definitions in quantum mechanics while only ...
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32 views

Is it possible that my 750ml water bottle contains spent fuel from a space shuttle launch

Firstly I live in New Zealand which is very distant from USA which is where the space shuttle was originally launched from. So what is the possibility of molecules from the rocket engines spent ...
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1answer
60 views

How is one process reversible and its reverse non-reversible?

My textbook gives this example of a reversible process: A gas in a piston is expanded over a long period of time, sitting on a hot plate that maintains its temperature. As an infinitesimal amount of ...
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2answers
611 views

Black hole no-hair theorems vs. entropy and surface area

I was revisiting some old popular science books a while ago and two statements struck me as incompatible. No-hair theorems: a black hole is fully-described by just a few numbers (mass, spin etc) ...
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0answers
32 views

Light Sheets and the Holographic Entropy Bound

I'm trying to understand light sheets as related to the holographic entropy bound for information. This bound equates the information on a surface (e.g. the event horizon of a black hole) with the ...
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2answers
67 views

Does the entropy of the universe change as expansion exceeds the speed of light?

The potential encoded information in a photon that is at the edge of the observable universe would seem to be lost as the universe expands. Does that loss of information contribute to the overall ...
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1answer
47 views

sudden volume increase piston

I am wondering what happens in the following situation. I have a piston filled with an ideal gas for which I suddenly/instantaneaouly iscrease the volume. In particular I want to know what happens to ...
11
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1answer
267 views

Why is the second law of thermodynamics indisputable? [duplicate]

Why is the second law of thermodynamics undisputable? On his website Professor Hawking says the following: The cosmologist, Sir Arthur Eddington, once said, 'Don't worry if your theory doesn't ...
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1answer
69 views

Mach Number after Normal Shock

Is there any way that someone can give me more of a conceptual explanation for the fact that the Mach number downstream of a normal shock must be less than or equal to 1? I understand the ...
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0answers
39 views

Best introduction to the link between information and thermodynamics

I have a solid understanding of classical thermodynamics, as well as a reasonable understanding of statistical mechanics and some of the philosophical issues regarding entropy. However, I've never ...
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1answer
103 views

Derive the Boltzmann factor in classical statistical mechanics

In both quantum and classical statistical mechanics, the probability of an NVT system having an energy $E$ is proportional to $$ p(E)\propto e^{-E/T} $$ However, all of the derivations (that I can ...
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35 views

Are the fundamental forces constantly fighting entropy?

If we imagine that the four fundamental forces disappeared, all structures that had a non zero temperature (Kelvin) would quickly disintegrate due to the particles colliding with each other and start ...
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1answer
629 views

Simpler derivation of Sackur-Tetrode equation

Is there a reason the following derivation for the Sackur-Tetrode equation is not common? I am teaching a lower undergraduate level class and would like to derive it with simpler terms of only using ...