A important property of all systems in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Entropy characterizes the degree to which the energy of the system is *not* available to do useful work

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relation between first law of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics definition of entropy

From the definition of entropy as $S= - Tr (\rho\, ln \rho)$ one obtains that $S = \frac{\langle E \rangle}{T} + \log Z.$ The first law of thermodynamics has $dS = {dE \over T}$. Why is there no ...
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Why is (von Neumann) entropy maximized for an ensemble in thermal equilibrium?

Consider a quantum system in thermal equilibrium with a heat bath. In determining the density operator of the system, the usual procedure is to maximize the von Neumann entropy subject to the ...
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Entropy exchange of a free fall

I have a problem in which the tell me that you drop a bag of 50 kg of sand from 10 meters high, and you have to caltulate the entropy difference of the sand, asuming that the speific heat of the sand ...
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For an isolated system, can the entropy decrease or increase?

In any sizable system, the number of equilibrium states are much, much greater then the number of non-equilibrium states. Since each accessible micro state is equally probably, it is overwhelmingly ...
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Order = Energy = Mass?

Here is a following problem I encountered when chatting about physics with my friend: Let us imagine a classical example of ordered state of matter in thermodynamic sense: let's take a cylinder ...
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Can ice have a higher entropy than water?

I've leant that entropy is a state of randomness, and that solids have a more structured form, therefore having less entropy. However, I saw a YouTube comment stating the following: a liquid NOT ...
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The definition of entropy

As history of thermodynamics say, it was a mystery that what is the required condition for a given energy conversion to take place? Like there are two possible events each conserving energy but only ...
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Amount of energy to separate Gases - relationship to concentration

I want to understand the efficiencies of separating mixed gases, and for that I want to understand the thermodynamic limit case. Looking at the wikipedia page for entropy of mixing, I find the ...
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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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Relation between Casimir and hydrophobic effects

Background Some years ago I was studying "Fundamentos de biología" (Biology fundamentals) and learned how the lipids create a bilayer due to the water repulsion. Some time later I learned that this ...
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Entropy Change During Reversible Processes

I'm confused about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Second Law of Thermodynamics prohibits a decrease in the entropy of a closed system and states that the entropy is unchanged during a ...
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Entalpy and entropy role in freezing-point depression phenomena

There's this "atomic" explanation of the freezing-point phenomena on Wikipedia that leaves me really intrigued. Consider the problem in which the solvent freezes to a very nearly pure crystal, ...
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Where and how is the entropy of a black hole stored?

Where and how is the entropy of a black hole stored? Is it around the horizon? Most of the entanglement entropy across the event horizon lies within Planck distances of it and are short lived. Is ...
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free energy and entropy of 2D soap froth

This is a (exploratory) computational project. The soap froth was created by injecting bubbles into a chamber formed by two rectangular plates which are 0.16cm. From the moment the soap froth was ...
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Entropy and the principle of least action

Is there any link between the law of maximum entropy and the principle of least action. Is it possible to derive one from the other ?
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How does quantum entropy scales with the size of the sample?

Suppose i have a 3D bulk of physical matter with no black holes enclosed in a sphere of radius $R$. What is the scaling law of all quantum entropy in function of $R$? If the scaling is not $R^2$, in ...
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Can entropy be equal to zero?

I've searched for it but I only found contradicting answers from "scientists": Dr. David Balson, Ph.D. states: "entropy in a system can never be equal to zero". Sam Bowen does not refutes the ...
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Why does the nature always prefer low energy and maximum entropy?

Why does the nature always prefer low energy and maximum entropy? I've just learned electrostatics and I still have no idea why like charges repel each other. ...
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name of experiment

I'm seeking the name of or reference for an experiment I once saw in a college physics class. At the beginning of one class the instructor repeatedly wound a wiper that spread a blot of some type of ...
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How much energy Maxwell's demon will earn?

Suppose we have one mole of one-atom ideal gas at temperature $T$. Suppose Maxwell's daemon has separated molecules into two sections, one with speed below mean and another with speed above mean. ...
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How does the introduction of living things into a closed system affect the rate of change of entropy?

Does the introduction of living things into a closed system increase or decrease the overall rate of change of entropy of a system?
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How would we perceive time going backwards? [closed]

I haven't taken Physics in University. Lately, I've been reading about some of the branches of physics through Wikipedia. I read several times that many of the theoretical models do not explain why ...
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Physics-based derivation of the formula for entropy

I am looking for a derivation of the formula $$S~=~-\Sigma_ip_i \log (p_i).$$ for entropy, from first principles. I only wish to assume the laws of physics, and without involving concepts in ...
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Can entropy be explained in terms of a cleaning/keeping your room clean?

I'm trying to relate the concept of entropy to keeping my room clean as suggested by my high school teacher ~1993... Comparing the two scenarios: Every day I come home and throw an empty can on the ...
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Activation energy and entropy

First assertion If a system is already in a high temperature, adding energy, will increment the entropy in a low amount (compared with a system in a lower temperature). Question (if assertion is ...
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Does the Higgs Mechanism contradict Entropic Gravity?

Does the Higgs Mechanism contradict Entropic Gravity? It seems like it probably does. But then again, one is a microscopic theory and the other is macroscopic. Can they live together in harmony? or ...
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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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An explanation for the Landauer's principle

Has anyone understood the Landauer's principle? What is the current status? In specific, is there a theoretical derivation of the Landauer's Principle?(not the heuristic one based on Salizard's ...
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Do laws of thermodynamics have a place in Theory of Everything? [closed]

I am having a difficulty understanding why second law of thermodynamics is still a valid universally accepted concept. I understand it works on paper for describing isolated heat systems. However, I ...
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Minimal Maxwell's Demon

I would like to understand where the waste heat is generated in the Maxwell's demon problem. To this end I've come up with the simplest scenario I can think of. If my scenario is workable I am hoping ...
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Does high entropy means low symmetry?

According to Bogolubov postulate (various texts name it differently) in Non-equilibrium thermodynamics, the number of needed parameters to describe our system is decreasing with time, and finally at ...
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Formal demonstration that minimizing the free energy equals maximizing the entropy

I never had great intuition when it came to thermodynamic concepts and potentials even though reading a textbook and completing the exercises has never been a huge problem. In one of them, I was ...
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Why does the law of increasing entropy, a law arising from statistics of many particles, underpin modern physics?

As far as I interpret it, the law of ever increasing entropy states that "a system will always move towards the most disordered state, never in the other direction". Now, I understand why it would ...
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Speed of Entropy change

If time in systems moving with different speed goes differently, does speed of entropy change differ in these systems? (is "speed of entropy change" a valid term? can we compare them?)
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Does entropy decrease through measurement?

For an electron in its rest frame, we have an entropy $$ S = \log 2, $$ which comes from the 2 possible spin directions along z-axis. If the measurement $S_z$ changes its state to $\left| + ...
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Qualitative discussion about entropy and disorder

Many discussions about entropy and disorder use examples of decks of cards, pages of books thrown in the air, two gases being mixed in a container, even the state of a nursery at the end of the day ...
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Entanglement Entropy

I needed some references which involves, the basic definition and motivation for Entanglement Entropy, and its one or two applications to many-body physics/black holes.
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Why do reversible processes not increase the entropy of the universe infinitesimally?

The book Commonly Asked Questions in Thermodynamics states: When we refer to the passage of the system through a sequence of internal equilibrium states without the establishment of equilibrium ...
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Information Loss in annihilation

The concept of information loss is usually discussed with respect to a black hole. My understanding is that whatever matter you put into the black hole, it has only 3 "hairs" and so one doesn't know, ...
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Black hole entropy

Bekenstein and Hawking derived the expression for black hole entropy as, $$ S_{BH}={c^3 A\over 4 G \hbar}. $$ We know from the hindsight that entropy has statistical interpretation. It is a measure ...
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Zero entropy change

If you put a object in contact with a heat reservoir that is infinitesimally higher in temperature than the object and allow equilibrium to be reached the entropy change is zero right?
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Was the Universe's entropy equal to zero at the Big Bang? Is zero-entropy state unique?

It is postulated by many cosmologists that at the Big Bang time the universe was in an unusual low entropy state. Does this claim specifically mean that the entropy of the initial universe was zero? ...
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Simplifying the explanation of a low-entropy Big Bang

The claim that the young universe was in a low-entropy state seems at odds with maximal entropy being thermal equilibrium, and the young universe being in thermal equilibrium. I've looked at some ...
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Fluid Dynamics - Water Bottle Drink Mix: Air or No Air?

If you take an ordinary sized plastic water bottle full of water and pour a packet of powdered (or liquid) drink mix into it, Will shaking the bottle with the cap screwed on to dissolve the mix into ...
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Entropy: two explanations for the same quantity?

I studied thermodynamics and I saw the following definition for entropy: $$ \Delta S = \int_1^2 \frac{\text{d}Q}{T} $$ that we use to calculate $\Delta S$ for different types of transformations. In ...
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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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Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Arrow of Time: Why isn't time considered fundamental?

I've come across this explanation that the "arrow of time" is a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics, which says that the entropy of an isolated system is always increasing. The argument is ...
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Where is the critical moment where the microcanonical ensemble enters the justification for the equilibium state?

As explained in many books, for the microscopic justification of the second law of thermodynamics (lets formulate it as the total entropy takes maximum among all possible exchanges of two systems), ...
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Kolgomorov entropy issues

I am long been confused by these entropy terms. Would be obliged if an explanation is provided in less technical jargon What are the differences between Shannon's entropy, topological entropy and ...
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Question about entropy and “smart materials” (that remember shape)

We all know that entropy is the measure of chaos in the system, and it's always increasing in the system. Now comes my question - how does entropy work in smart materials? Here is a youtube video ...