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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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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53 views

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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113 views

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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82 views

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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1answer
145 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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405 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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4answers
208 views

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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74 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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65 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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180 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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151 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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130 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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1answer
61 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
95 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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127 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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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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66 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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34 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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277 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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3answers
1k views

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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46 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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76 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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111 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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42 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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35 views

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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217 views

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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86 views

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 ?
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136 views

The statistical interpretation of Entropy

I recently got introduced to the Statistical Mechanics, particularly, the Statistical Interpretation of Entropy and am utterly confused regarding the following problem: Imagine a box with two ...
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73 views

difference between reversible and irreversible entropy

Before I proceed, let me first say I have done research and understand the general idea between the two: summed up crudely reversible happens in a slower continuous manner while irreversible happens ...
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532 views

Understanding entropy [duplicate]

I am currently doing some research on entropy and I am trying to get my head around the concept. One thing that I am getting right now is that entropy is just an application of probability and ...
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1answer
49 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 ...
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1answer
424 views

If Hawking radiation is proved to be true won't black holes lose entropy which is against laws of thermodynamics?

Hawking radiation states that black holes continuously emit radiation. But if its the case won't entropy of black holes decrease which violates the laws of heat, entropy and thermodynamics?
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47 views

Facing a difficulty in calculating thermal entropy of a massless scalar field in a d-dimensional box at temperature T

I try to calculate the thermal entropy of a massless scalar field in a box at finite temperature T. The calculation is almost mindless but I meet a math problem that I don't know how to solve. My ...
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39 views

Do the entropy of the universe and third law of thermodynamics conflict? [duplicate]

We know that our universe was in low entropy state at the earlier time after the Big bang. But we also know that the temperature at that times was enormously high. But what the third law of ...
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63 views

Entropy definitions

So I have learned that entropy is the measure of disorder of a system. For the IPhO this was of course not enough as we need to be able to calculate entropy changes of ideal gases. Those equations ...
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3answers
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Where is the flaw in this machine that decreases the entropy of a closed system?

I was thinking about a completely unrelated problem (Quantum Field Theory Peskin & Schroeder kind of unrelated!) when the diagram below sprang into my mind for no apparent reason. After some ...
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92 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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207 views

The black hole paradox

I recently read in the news that Stephen Hawking claims to have solved the Black Hole Information paradox. I researched a bit about the paradox and the research that Stephen Hawking did to solve it. ...
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236 views

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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Why don't photons split up into multiple lower energy versions of themselves?

A photon could spontaneously split up into two or more versions of itself and all the conservation laws I'm aware of would not be violated by this process. (I think.) I've given this some thought, and ...
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86 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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125 views

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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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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22 views

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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244 views

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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89 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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102 views

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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128 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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701 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 ...