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Thread: entropy

  1. #1 entropy 
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    Could someone please tell me how the universe began when it is entropic?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman jmd_dk's Avatar
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    By being entropic, do you mean that the second law of thermodynamics applies to our universe? That is, the total entropy of the universe will always gets bigger as time go on?

    If so, I don't see your problem. The fact that the universe had a beginning doesn't imply that there have ever been a time, for which the entropy was larger, than at any later time.
    Not that it makes much sense to label the universe with an entropy "before" it began, but in that case, sure it would have the value 0.
    Does this answer your question, or haven't I understood you right?


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  4. #3  
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    I simply am inclined to believe that if the universe is entropic, it will continue to become more disorganized until it collapses and "dies" (i.e., loses the energy necessary to overpower the gravitational force upon itself). Thus, I must admit that it shows that if the universe was not at one point, and now is, thus making it finitely old rather than infinitely, an outside force must have made it entropic for some reason. It's almost as if the command was given to make the universe entropic! But why do you think it is?
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  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman jmd_dk's Avatar
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    Yes, it will continue to become more disorganized. However, it wont collapse. Gravity won't "win" on cosmic scales (do to the cosmological constant), dragging everything to a point. This probably will happen to small portions of the universe (ie., the milky way galaxy may be one big black hole, a trillion years from now). The universe as a whole will continue to expand forever (at least that's the current opinion).

    To make a system obey the second law of thermodynamics (the system being "entropic") demands no outside force. It's really just a statistical, almost purely mathematical thing. Have a cup of coffee, and ever so slightly put some milk in it. After some time, the milk and coffee will have mixed up (increased entropy). That's not weird. If everything was going toward a more organized state (the milk and coffee separate), that would be weird. No command is needed to make the world entropic. A non-entropic world, that would demand a truly deep explanation...
    Last edited by jmd_dk; August 16th, 2011 at 04:05 PM. Reason: spell error
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  6. #5  
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    Take a large book, War and Peace has been used as an example, rip out all the pages and throw them in the air.
    There is only ONE way for them to fall completely organized ( ie. pages 1,2,3,4...800+ ) while there are a multiude of ways, 800+! ( factoral ) ways for them to land disorganized. Entropy is related to the degrees of freedom of a system. As entropy increases useable energy ( able to do work ) decreases.
    There is only one way to arrange the early universe such that there is an isotropic ( ordered ) energy distribution while there are multitudes of ways for the present haphazard distribution of energy, ie entropy has increased. Also a lot of the enrgy is bound in forms where it is no longer useable ( like neutrinos ) and eventually this will lead to what is called the 'heat death' of the universe.
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