What is Entropy in Thermodynamics? ( Easily Explained)
What is entropy?
Entropy is one of the most complicate concepts in physics. To have an idea, have a look at what the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells:
“The entropy of an isolated system can never decrease over time”
It doesn’t sound clear at all… right?
Entropy is a fundamental concept in thermodynamics that describes the degree of disorder or randomness in a system. In thermodynamics, a system refers to any material or substance that is being studied, and the surroundings refer to everything outside of that system.
Entropy is a state function, which means that it depends only on the current state of the system, and not on how the system arrived at that state. It is denoted by the symbol “S” and has units of joules per kelvin (J/K).
The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of a closed system (i.e., a system that does not exchange matter or energy with its surroundings) always increases over time. This is known as the law of entropy increase or the law of entropy production.
The increase in entropy can be understood by considering the different ways in which the particles of a system can be arranged. In a highly ordered, structured state, the particles are arranged in a way that minimizes the number of possible arrangements or configurations. As the system becomes more disordered, however, the number of possible configurations increases, and the entropy of the system increases as well.
For example, consider a gas confined to a container. When the gas is compressed, its particles become more ordered and the entropy of the gas decreases. When the gas is allowed to expand, however, its particles become more disordered and the entropy of the gas increases.
Entropy has many practical applications, including the design of engines and refrigeration systems, and the study of chemical reactions and phase transitions.
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