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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Do the number of possible microstates increase as temperature decreases?

Entropy change, $\Delta{S}$, can be found from the $\frac{1}{T} - Q$ graph. When the temperature doesn't change during the dispersal of heat energy in the system, the area under the graph is more, ...
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Residual Entropy - Third Law

I've been told that many systems possess some residual entropy at absolute zero. This would seem to disagree with the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics? How can this be explained physically speaking? I am ...
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Exorcism of Maxwell's Demon

I am possessed! Yes, with the thinking that if there is actually a Maxwell's Demon, then it would open the negligible weighted door which would ultimately make the second law invalid. But really can ...
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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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If entropy is increasing does it mean universe is non-deterministic?

I watched some video where they said entropy can be considered as information. They also stated that universe's entropy is always increasing... Now here comes the problem my IT mind can't understand: ...
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Entropy change in irreversible heat flow

For an irreversible heat flow from an object $A$ at temperature $T_A$ and another object $B$ at temperature $T_B < T_A$ , I'd like to know how to evaluate the change in entropy using the following ...
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How did Planck use the concept of statistical entropy in trying to understand the meaning of his own law?

I was reading Introducing Quantum Theory: A graphic guide (by J.P.McEvoy & Oscar Zarate) and came across Planck's predicament of understanding his very own law that accurately explained the ...
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Physical Meaning Of $dQ/T$ Regarding Clausius Inequality: Is it related to Energy Loss in form of heat or Something Else?

What is the physical meaning of term $dQ/T$ in Clausius Inequality $dQ/T \le dS$ ? Physically we can relate entropy to number of microstates of a system, which relates to number of possible ...
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How does the second law of thermodynamics follow from low entropy of early universe?

One of the explanations of the second law of thermodynamics is that it goes back to the low entropy in the early universe (How do you prove the second law of thermodynamics from statistical mechanics?)...
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What are the hypothetic cases when entropy of a closed system may decrease? [closed]

What are the hypothetical possibilities that entropy of a closed system may decrease? I would accept plausible but hypothetical setups. For instance, Non-trivial timeline topology (closed timelike ...
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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 because......
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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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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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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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What is the entropy of a pure state?

Well, zero of course. Because $S = -\text{tr}(\rho \ln \rho)$ and $\rho$ for a pure state gives zero entropy. But... all quantum states are really pure states right? A mixed state just describes ...
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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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Doesn't entropy increase backwards in time, too?

In statistical explanations of entropy, we can often read about a (thought) experiment of the following sort. We have a bunch of particles in box, packed densely in one of the corners. We assume some ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Change in Shannon entropy of a quantum circuit of Hadamard gate and a loop

The following Q&A about reversible computing is available here. It has listed a number of practical scenarios where a reversible circuit can still be dissipating heat. Let's assume that none of ...
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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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Entropy change at varying volumes

I have two questions both related to each other: 1.What is the effect of change in volume (whether increasing or decreasing), of a system, under isothermal conditions? How does this change in ...
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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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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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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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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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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.
This answer to a question about unmixing gases states: However, let us now assume we have to hand a source of mechanical work, and a large heat reservoir at temperature $T$. I'll assume that ...