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Thread: Entropy

  1. #1 Entropy 
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    Entropy is described mathematically but it also works on things that don't seem mathematical at all. The second law of thermodynamics says entropy increases as time goes by. this is mathematically proven, but how does this law that describes things quantify the things it is measuring? My desk gets more disordered, is that entropy? If I throw a manuscript up in the air all of the sheets are now out of order and it's entropy has increased? How do you quantify a neat and tidy room, that then get's disordered? It took energy to disorder it, and it took energy to order it so are these examples of entropy or not. Do mathematical laws and statements apply not only to forces and particles but to everyday life as well?


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  3. #2 Re: Entropy 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildstar
    Entropy is described mathematically but it also works on things that don't seem mathematical at all. The second law of thermodynamics says entropy increases as time goes by. this is mathematically proven, but how does this law that describes things quantify the things it is measuring? My desk gets more disordered, is that entropy? If I throw a manuscript up in the air all of the sheets are now out of order and it's entropy has increased? How do you quantify a neat and tidy room, that then get's disordered? It took energy to disorder it, and it took energy to order it so are these examples of entropy or not. Do mathematical laws and statements apply not only to forces and particles but to everyday life as well?
    Entropy is a statistical phenomena.

    The idea is that there are more disorder states than ordered ones and things tend to get messier, and wind up in the large vat of disordered states unless there is active intervention (application of energy) to tidy things up.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy


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  4. #3  
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    So it's just a macroscopic law that also applies to particles.
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  5. #4  
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    There isn't anything unique about humans as far as physical properties of matter and energy. Our concept of 'order'is irrelevent to order (or disorder) in the universe. A neat stack of papers on the desk has no more order than those not stacked (except to humans). You used energy and impacted matter to stack the papers...you removed particles further from their original relation to each other.

    It's not easy to do but try and think of everything as atomic particles and not as identifiable objects. Your hand is trillions (an understatement) of particles with huge spaces between them...as it the air around the papers, the papers, etc. Everytime energy is expended these particles are impacted.
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  6. #5  
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    If I picture everything as particle I don't see how entropy is relevant at all.. Do the particles have lifetimes? Protons, neutrons, electrons. Unless. It must have to do with particles being freed from some collective shape that the EM force binds together in chemistry, or gravity binds in stars. So entropy in this sense would be from a structure,d collective object into a diffuse haze of elementary particles. Yes?
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  7. #6  
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    Thermodynamics, almost by definition, is a theory for describing enormously large ensembles of particles.
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  8. #7  
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    Okay
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