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 in quantum mechanics emergent or fundamental?

Since a quantum mechanical system, even an isolated system containing one particle, can be described by a density matrix, with entropy for the system given by $\langle S\rangle=-k \rho\ln(\rho)$, is ...
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3answers
1k views

Why do we remember the past but not the future?

The question is sometimes referred to as the "psychological arrow of time" (Hawking, 1985). Here the past is understood as a moment or time when the entropy of the universe was lower, and contrarily ...
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59 views

Is there a general H-theorem?

In statistical mechanics, Boltzmann showed that for dilute gases the H-function increases. I remember from a lecture that there is no general H-theorem, e.g. for non-dilute gases or in the quantum ...
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194 views

Entropy as a state property

The usual "proof" entropy is a state property is like that: "Consider a system which undergoes a reversible process from state 1 to state 2 along path A, and let cycle be completed along path B, ...
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237 views

What does the Higgs boson have to do with the uncertainty principle and quantum oscillations?

I was looking in New Scientist the other day when I saw something to do with the Higgs boson, energy levels, entropy, space/time, quantum oscillations and many other things. It was in a feature to do ...
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174 views

Entropy of photons

Do low energy photons have greater entropy than high energy photons, or is the entropy of all photons the same (and the relationship between high and low entropy radiation is just a function of the ...
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279 views

Do individual photons increase entropy as they travel?

If I draw a control volume around a single light wave traveling through empty space, is entropy increasing as it goes? How is the degradation of the quality of energy manifested?
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919 views

Question on entropy

All of my textbooks mention, that entropy-change of all spontaneous physical, and chemical processes is positive, and that such processes need another condition to fulfill- decrease in the net ...
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9k views

Why can the entropy of an isolated system increase?

From the second law of thermodynamics: The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward ...
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132 views

At an instant, does a system of gravitational charges exhibit equivalent behavior to a time-reversed system of like electric charges?

Question: In principle, does a system of gravitational charges exhibit equivalent behavior to a time-reversed system of like electric charges? (At a single instance in time?) Additional Notes: I am ...
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207 views

Proving that Measurement increases von Neumann entropy

Let $V$ be a finite dimensional complex inner product space. Let $\mathcal{M}$ be the classical sample space of measurement outcomes that may occur in a given experiment, and $M_\mu$, $\mu \in ...
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33 views

Thermodynamics of binary symmetric channels

I am reading this very interesting paper: http://m.iopscience.iop.org/1751-8121/41/40/402002/pdf/1751-8121_41_40_402002.pdf about thermodynamics of channels in information theory. More generally, ...
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44 views

About parametrizing quadratic fluctuations in the metric about $AdS_2 \times S^2$

I am referring to the contents of page 20-23 of the paper, http://arxiv.org/abs/1108.3842.pdf Equation 4.5 seems to suggest that one wants to restrict the metric fluctuations $h$ to a subset such ...
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168 views

What is intrinsic gravitational entropy?

What is intrinsic gravitational entropy? Does it have to do with dark matter or coarse graining in the universe? Is it unique to general relativity, or there are predictions from quantum mechanics as ...
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4answers
606 views

How does the formation of a solar system not break the second law of thermodynamics?

Please forgive: I am a layman when it comes to physics and cosmology, and have tried finding an answer to this that I can understand, with no luck. As I understand it, the solar system evolved from a ...
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1answer
129 views

How to calculate the Wald functional?

I want to calculate the Wald functional for arbitrary higher curvature Lagrangians - like getting equation 6.31 from 6.30 in this paper. A priori the above looks like an extremely complicated ...
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1k views

Will the black hole size increase?

I was thinking about the following thought experiment, but wasn't sure about its outcome. Suppose there is a black-hole and I enter it with a partitioned box containing two different gases on either ...
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1answer
320 views

Entropy is constant. How to express this equation in terms of pressure and density?

In hydrodynamics of an ideal, non-compressive flow we use 5 variables: pressure $p$, density $\rho$ and velocity field $\mathbf{v}$. So we need 5 equations. Landau's "Hydrodynamics" states that the ...
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2answers
141 views

Entropy / Structure Relations

I want to check on the validity of the following objective definition of order. Is it correct? Is there a more rigorous statement of this concept? The further a system is from its maximum ...
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1answer
229 views

Explicit form of the entropy production in hydrodynamics

I'm trying to understand how hydrodynamics arise from a precise, mathematical formulation of thermodynamics, learning mostly from Landau's "Hydrodynamics". So Landau starts from formulating the ...
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2answers
206 views

Is there a relation between (non-) existence of magnetic monopoles and thermodynamics?

This question follows on previous work on connections between (other) areas of physics and thermodynamics as in here, here and even here. P. Dirac (an electrical engineer initially) was one of the ...
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560 views

Is quantum uncertainty principle related to thermodynamics?

Would like to ask a question, but first i would like to say Hello Everybody in a way that plays the system, since some geniouses decided that one should not be able to say hello in a question. The ...
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0answers
114 views

Does causality alone resolve the mathematical ambiguity of expressing physical systems?

Newton's 2nd law of motion is most often written in the differential form $\sum F = {dp \over dt} $ but can also be expressed in an integral form $ p = \int\sum F dt $ Each form of expressing ...
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1answer
111 views

Meaning of the Reduced Density Operator

I am confused about what it is exactly that a reduced density operator describes. To illustrate, I came across the following seemingly paradoxical argument. Consider a biparte system $AB$, described ...
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79 views

Has any possible non-extensive entropy been classified?

How many non-extensive entropies do exist? Tsallis, Havrda-Chavrat, Renyi, Kaniadakis, Sharma-Mittal,... To be more precise, I am wondering if some classification like those of "finite" or Lie groups ...
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87 views

entropy in Information theory vs thermodynamic?

We Now From Information Theory That Entropy Of Functions Of A Random Variable $X$ Is Less Than Or Equal To The Entropy Of $X$. Does It Break The Second Law Of Thermodynamic?
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1answer
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Principle of Caratheodory and The Second Law of Thermodynamics

Background Constantin Carathéodory formulated thermodynamics on a purely mathematical axiomatic foundation. His statement of the second law is known as the Principle of Carathéodory, which may be ...
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592 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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213 views

The entropy of the universe in an irreversible cycle [closed]

Suppose we have an ideal gas performing an irreversible cycle composed by: an isothermal transformation at $T_{1}$; an isobaric transformation at $P_{A}$; an isothermal transformation at $T_{2}$; an ...
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204 views

How can the microstates be measured with zero energy expenditure?

James P. Sethna. Statistical Mechanics. Exercise 5.2: What prevents a Maxwellian demon from using an atom in an unknown state to extract work? The demon must first measure which side of the ...
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Entropy and chemical potential of an ideal gas

I am reading Schroeder's book "Thermal Physics". One calculation in the text was not quite clear to me. The entropy of an ideal gas is given by the Sackur-Tetrode equation: $$ ...
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2answers
439 views

Classical and Semi-classical treatments of the ideal gas

In the semi-classical treatment of the ideal gas, we write the partition function for the system as $$Z = \frac{Z(1)^N}{N!}$$ where $Z(1)$ is the single particle partition function and $N$ is the ...
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1answer
112 views

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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7answers
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Homemade salad dressing separates into layers after it sits for a while. Why doesn't this violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics?

The oil, vinegar and other liquids in homemade salad dressing separate into layers after sitting for a while, making the mixture become more organized as time evolves. Why doesn't this violate the ...
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1answer
167 views

Definition of Information in Information Theory

I am not sure in which SE site I have to put this question. But since I have learnt Shannon Entropy in the context of Statistical Physics, I am putting this question here. In the case of Shannon ...
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2answers
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Entropy $dQ=TdS$ and Work $dW = -pdV$ conditions?

What are the conditions in order for the equations: Entropy $dQ = TdS$ and Work $dW = -p dV$ to work? I think for $dQ = T dS$, it must be a reversible process? But for $dW = -p dV$, shouldn't it ...
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350 views

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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1answer
79 views

Can Entropy decrease through genralized measurement

Can entropy of a quantum state decrease through the generalized measurement?
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Where does deleted information go?

I've heard that, in classical and quantum mechanics, the law of conservation of information holds. I always wonder where my deleted files and folders have gone on my computer. It must be somewhere I ...
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611 views

Information or Matter or Energy

Which one is the most fundamental of the universe? What it is made of? Physicists are searching for unique and fundamental form. The question is , information is more fundamental than energy ? ...
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300 views

Entropy and the uncertainty principle

According to the second law of thermodynamics, the total entropy of the Universe must always increase after any interaction (as I understand). So in the hydrogen atom, the electron has a high ...
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0answers
109 views

On the relationship between entropy and chaotic noise

I have few conceptual questions related to application of chaos in communications. Kolmogorov-Sinai Entropy1 , Kolmogorov-Sinai Entropy2 and Kolmogorov-Sinai Entropy3 KS is an entropy metric for ...
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83 views

Would it be possible to measure the change of entropy of a system? why?

To be more specific, what I mean is to measure it in a experiment. And if the answer is no, I want to know if it is principally impossible, or just impossible due to the technic limitation of our ...
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3answers
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Is entropy of all systems zero at absolute zero?

Is the entropy of every system zero at the absolute zero? Or is it taken to be zero at the absolute zero? Are there systems that doesn't reach zero entropy even till absolute zero?
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1answer
463 views

Entropy and Stability [closed]

What happens when you increase entropy in a system? Does it increase the instability? Is disorder the same as entropy?
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1answer
266 views

consequences of universe in which second law of thermodynamics does not hold [closed]

What would happen if the second law of thermodynamics was not there for governing in every day processes. Can a universe exist and evolve if the second law of thermodynamics does not exist in first ...
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1answer
88 views

Thermodynamic entropy vs. quantum mechanical entropy

Is there a fundamental difference in the definition of entropy when considering the classical thermodynamic picture vs. the quantum mechanical picture, or are they both fundamentally equivalent?
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1answer
207 views

What precisely does the 2nd law of thermo state, considering that entropy depends on how we define macrostate?

Boltzmann's definition of entropy is $\sigma = \log \Omega$, where $\Omega$ is the number of microstates consistent with a given macrostate. If I understand correctly, this means that it only makes ...
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2answers
138 views

Does all information in the universe come from the observer?

In absence of the observer any system undergoes unitary evolution, that is reversible evolution without entropy change. It is believed that the initial state of the universe had very low entropy, ...
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Free Energy, Avialable Work in a reversible process

I was reading the Wikipedia page on Helmoltz Free Energy, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmholtz_free_energy, and run across a point I cannot unravel. The discussion goes as follows, I reproduce it ...