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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Entropy and vacuums

If I have a vacuum (completely devoid of any particles; Q.M. effects aside), then turn a nozzle and let a gas freely expand into the vacuum, will I have increased the entropy of the vacuum? I get ...
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Gravitational entropy

In the beginning (big bang), mass was evenly distributed (if you consider an elementary particle as an extended object, like a circle on a very thin cylinder, with a radius near the Planck length, but ...
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What ds>dQ/T mean?

I read the derivation on page 216 over here: https://www3.nd.edu/~powers/ame.20231/notes.pdf First it considers an irreversible process between state 1 and 2 followed by a reversible process between ...
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Entropy for $N$ number of particles [on hold]

If there are $N$ number of non-interacting and distinguishable particles which have either Energy $E_1$ or $E_2$ , then a. What will be the entropy $S(n)$ for such system? ($n$ is the number ...
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Increase in entropy principle

If we consider a system to undergo an irreversible process from state 1 to state 2 and a reversible process from state 2 to state 1, then through Clausius inequality $\int_{1}^{2} \frac{\delta ...
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Extensiveness of entropy in classical microcanonical ensemble

In introducing microcanonical ensemble of classical statistical mechanics one pretty much starts by postulating that entropy of the system has the form $S(V,E) = k \log \Gamma(V,E)$, where $\Gamma$ ...
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34 views

What processes create or destroy information?

From a classical standpoint, it seems pretty clear that information can be easily lost. If you knock over a bookshelf and the books fall out, it seems like their initial order on the shelf cannot be ...
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Can the second law of thermodynamics be violated in a small enough system if tried repeatedly enough?

Second law of thermodynamics is observed in the universe because statistics favors it, right? And in large enough system this statistical tendency becomes certainty. Does it also mean that negative ...
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Einstein's equation of Entropy in Brownian Motion paper [on hold]

In this paper by Einstein "INVESTIGATIONS ON THE THEORY .OF ,THE BROWNIAN MOVEMENT", section 2 states the equation for Entropy [Eqn. (3)]. There is no explanation of how this equation is derived (or ...
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Why doesn't the separation of particles by mass via gravity decrease entropy?

Let's say we've got a fluid of heavy and light particles inside a cubical flask, which is initially shaken up so that the density of heavy particles is uniform everywhere. Let's also say that these ...
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Definition of entropy in thermodynamics

In most textbooks, the definition of entropy in reversible processes on a system $S$ is given simply as $$d S=\delta Q/T.$$ It seems to me this definition is insufficient since it does not specify ...
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Why does hot water gets cooler on stirring instead it should have gotten hotter

When we keep on stirring hot water vigorously it starts getting cooler. But we are increasing the random kinetic energy of the molecules of water. Heat is as it is the energy of RANDOM motion of ...
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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 there a way to prove information entropy?

Information entropy is a very general term involving everything from the tendency of material to decay (in all the 3 meanings) to the fact that you need energy to sort your books alphabetically. ...
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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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372 views

Why is entropy an extensive quantity?

If we have two identical isolated macroscopic systems both with energy $E$. The number of accessible states of each of them is $\Omega(E)$ and hence the entropy is $\ln\Omega(E)$. Now if we put them ...
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Why is heat transfer reversible when temperature difference is infinitesimal?

I don't understand why heat transfer from hot reservoir to the system is considered reversible in this case: $T_{reservoir}$ = $T_{system}$ + dT but it's considered irreversible in this case: ...
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234 views

Entropy change in an irreversible process between 2 equilibrium state

Calculating entropy change in an irreversible process between 2 states requires computing the change in entropy for any reversible process between the 2 same states, but why? If someone could provide ...
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How to justify the entropy maximum postulate using Statistical Mechanics?

The entropy maximum postulate states that given a thermodynamic system there's a function $S$ of the extensive parameters called entropy which has the property that once a constraint is removed the ...
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1answer
127 views

Why don't we observe spontaneous symmetry restoration in nature?

Why do we always observe spontaneous symmetry breaking in nature and not restoration? Does there exist some argument with the 2nd law of thermodynamics and the entropy of the universe increasing? If ...
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20 views

Is perfectly diffuse reflection entropy maximizing?

Suppose that I shine light on a surface and none of it will be absorbed or transmitted, and the spectrum doesn't change (so that all that's left to determine is the power reflected from the surface as ...
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If an object has a temperature, does it have to radiate?

I'm reading through a powerpoint presentation about Hawking Radiation (HR). They are explaining all of the reasons that built up to the postulate of HR, and one of the reasons is that if there is a ...
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52 views

Holevo Information and Quantum Mutual Information

This question is about the difference between Quantum Mutual Information and Holevo Information of quantum channels. From http://arxiv.org/pdf/1004.2495.pdf equation 7 we know that the sum of quantum ...
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Why can't an ocean liner be powered by an engine that takes heat from the ocean water and eject ice cubes?

The following excerpt comes from the physics textbook Understanding Physics, by David Cassidy, Gerald Holton, and James Rutherford: A ball lying on the floor will not somehow gather energy from ...
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Why does $S = k_B \ln W$ not always apply?

I thought for a long time that the Boltzmann formula for entropy, $S = k_B \ln W$, was a universally true statement, or rather the definition of entropy from the perspective of statistical mechanics. ...
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Why is entropy additive?

Although it seems simple, I can't get the derivation correct. Here is my reasoning: $P(S)=P(A)P(B)$ Where P is the probability and S, A, and B denote different systems. $S_A=-P(A)\ln P(A)$ and ...
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Difference between heat capacity and entropy?

Heat capacity $C$ of an object is the proportionality constant between the heat $Q$ that the object absorbs or loses & the resulting temperature change $\delta T$ of the object. Entropy change is ...
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How do you prove the second law of thermodynamics from statistical mechanics?

How do you prove the second law of thermodynamics from statistical mechanics? To prove entropy will only increase with time? How to prove? Please guide.
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Is entropy absolute (as in absolute temperature)?

Following this question on the Entropy at the Big Bang where I asked: Since Entropy always increases (in general); its expected that the entropy at the beginning of the universe should be the ...
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What are the phenomena responsible for irreversible increase in entropy?

https://www.quantamagazine.org/20140416-times-arrow-traced-to-quantum-source This article says that entanglement drives the arrow of time of increasing entropy towards thermodynamic equilibrium: ...
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161 views

How does entropy change when heat is transfer into a system reversibly with constant T?

My guess will be deltaS system : increase [because heat is flowing into the system] deltaS surrounding: decrease [because heat is leaving the environment] deltaS universe (sys+surr) : 0 because it ...
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A relationship between entropy and temperature

I tried deriving a formula relating entropy (not change in entropy, but entropy itself) to temperature. I’ve only seen two equations really relating to entropy thus far, and only one of them includes ...
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Does electricity have an associated entropy?

One can certainly measure entropy changes associated with the generation of electricity, but does electricity itself have an associated entropy (maybe related to voltage, current etc.)?
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Really how does the entropy of the universe increase?

Universe means the system along with its surroundings. I have always got this statement while studying the second law; be it a thermodynamics book (Sears, Salinger) , physical chemistry book (Atkins, ...
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Is there any useful sense in which entropy fluctuates?

One of the classic distinctions between young Boltzmann and old Boltzmann was his view on entropy. Young Boltzmann had his H-theorem where a mechanical quantity H was supposed to represent entropy. ...
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About the holographic principle

I read at a book this quote "As the degrees of freedom of a particle are the product of all the degrees of freedom of its sub-particles, were a particle to have infinite subdivisions into ...
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Replica trick for calculating Entanglement Entropy?

This is probably a simple question. Von Neumann entropy is defined to be $$S_A=-tr_A\rho_A \log\rho_A$$. And it's said that it can be calculate from the "Replica trick": $$S_A=\lim_{n\to 1}\frac{tr_A ...
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Does the radius of the Universe correspond to its total entropy?

I heard a claim that due to holographic principle, the surface area of the cosmic horizon corresponds to the universe's total entropy. As such the initial state had zero surface area and later ...
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Estimation of an Entropic Path Integral

I'm trying to reproduce some results from a paper (http://www.alexwg.org/publications/PhysRevLett_110-168702.pdf for reference) and basically I need a way of estimating a particular path integral ...
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Does the entropy of a system vary in the equilibrium?

I am not physicist and this question may seem trivial. But I understand that in the equilibrium the magnitudes such as temperature or volumen do not vary. Is the same for entropy? My logical says that ...
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3answers
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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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Entropy generation during irreversible adiabatic expansion

During irreversible adiabatic expansion entropy is generated. It means that the gas expands to as greater volume than that during reversible adiabatic expansion for the same change in pressure. How ...
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entropy changes in common processes?

Can you point me please to a reference that will explain what the entropy undergoes (increase, decrease, etc) in common thermodynamic cycle processes, like adiabatic, isobaric, isochoric, etc?
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Would it be possible that a broken glass can return to its original state spontaneous at 0K?

my teacher said that a broken glass can't fix itself spontaneous because of the second law of thermodynamics, entropy won't decrease in a isolated system. But when the temperature is at 0k, then ...
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Is this thought experiment violating the the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

There is an adiabatic box, with a board in the middle, which is adiabatic too.The board separates the box into two parts and there is a small hole in it, which is close to a coil and the hole has a ...
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Entropy and gravity

Entropy, at an intuitive level, is often described as a general level of disorder within a system. For example, I have a gas in a container divided in two areas by a divider, the gas all on one side. ...
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Is entropy decreased in this scenario?

I heard one possible definition of entropy $S$ is the number of possible configurations of microscopic variables that satisfy macroscopic variables such as volume and pressure. Suppose I have a box ...
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1answer
61 views

What is more important, energy or entropy? [closed]

What decides if something will change or remain the same? Energy or entropy considerations?
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1answer
57 views

Why is entropy of system same for reversible and irreversible processes? [closed]

I read that entropy change of universe is zero in a reversible process but positive in a irreversible process,then doesn't it mean that entropy change of system of both the processes must be ...
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Is the pressure-gradient force an entropic force?

A gas flows from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure when there are no other forces preventing it. From a macrosopic perspective you have to infer that an underlying force is ...