# Tagged Questions

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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### What determines time flow? (arrow of time) [closed]

I've been reading up on the arrow of time and there is one thing that is being omitted from every explanation that I've found: time flow. I am rewording this question to make it clearer. From the ...
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### Fundamentals of atomic bonding [closed]

Are these basic statements about atoms and bonding correct: atoms are at their lowest energy state when they have no bonds, existing as single atoms it always requires energy to form any ...
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### Calculating Microcanonical Entropy in Molecular Dynamics

As a beginning, I am simulating Argon liquid at 94 K and characterising as it is done by the Rahman's first paper on Molecular Dynamics. After going through the first two chapters of Art of Molecular ...
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### Is it a law of physics that all machines will break?

The question sounds kinda dumb when I say it out loud but at the same time I'm very curious. When things break, is it solely due to an intrinsic design flaw or is it due to entropy? And is the ...
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### Is there a relation between complexity of a system and entropy?

Disclamer: I'm not a physics professional, so pardon me if the question is stupid/incomperhensible/generally doesn't make sense. And I've googled it, but didn't find an answer. Getting to the point, ...
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### If $\Delta Q/ T$ approximates the entropy change of some transition, is it inclusive of the entropy from volume change?

At the point of a transition where latent heat must be added to some substance, entropy change can be approximated by $\Delta Q/ T$. At these points, the volume of the substance also increases, which ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Why must the total change in entropy be 0 for a heat cycle to be as efficient as possible?

If $\Delta S_{total}$ were not zero, then heat flow would take place at different temperatures. It is easy to see why this is true by examining the opposite: that when heat flow takes place at the ...
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### If time is like space, why entropy always increases with time? [duplicate]

If time is like space, why entropy always increases with time I should not be able to distinguish whether I am going forwards or backwards in time. As entropy always increase with time. I can ...
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### On the surface, is the law of maximum entropy production the same as principle of least action?

I just have read about the law of maximum entropy production. Someone has idolized it enough to make an whole website just for it: http://www.lawofmaximumentropyproduction.com/ A system will ...
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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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### 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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### 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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### What is the cause for the inclusion of 'thermal equilibrium' in the statement of Ergodic hypothesis?

This is the fundamental assumption of statistical mechanics: In an isolated system in thermal equilibrium $^1$, all accessible microstates are equally probable. But why does it mention the ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### How is the efficiency of a heat engine related to the entropy produced during the process?

I'm reading Schroeder's An Introduction to Thermal Physics. Regarding heat engines, it is stated: Unfortunately, only part of the energy absorbed as heat can be converted to work by a heat engine. ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Did the early universe violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics? [duplicate]

If the universe started out isotropic and homogenous and of all fundamental particles then how could there now be any concentration of energy anywhere? If you say that nothing is really homogenous ...
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### Is Bekenstein entropy limit inconsistent with universal continuity?

It is unknown whether the universe is discrete or continuous in its intricate quantum level structure. See for example: Can universal continuity be experimentally falsified? Is the universe finite ...
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### Is entropy violated inside black holes and worm holes?

Do the laws of thermodynamics hold true everywhere in universe ? What about black holes and worm holes ?