Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

what entropy isn't

jumper
jumper Member Posts: 1,712
Every now and then here there are questions about efficiency.
http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/8514/title/What-Entropy-Is--and-Is-Not/
explains why we should take care when invoking thermodynamics.

This elegant quantity is a precisely defined construct of physics; it can be rigorously measured for equilibrium systems and can be given meaning for near-to-equilibrium considerations.

The second law, when formulated in terms of entropy, gives powerful insights into a wide variety of problems. It seems a shame to take such a beautiful and exact idea and blur its meaning by indiscriminately applying it to all sorts of areas that have nothing to do with equilibrium thermodynamics.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,097
    On the other hand, one does need to differentiate from the thermodynamic construct called entropy -- which is indeed very beautiful and very powerful -- and some sort of vague notion of order and disorder, analogous in loose sort of way to entropy, which is where Mr. Rifkin takes off.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,932
    It would seem that two different meanings are being used, but the difference between them isn't necessarily noted or understood. To illustrate in vulgar terms: "Nothing is better than beer. Lite beer is better than nothing. Therefore, lite beer is better than beer." Patently false (lite beer is swill unfit for human consumption, whereas a good Stout is a gift from Heaven), but the similarities can fool the inattentive.

    If only...

    BobCSWEITim Potter
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 703
    ratio said:

    : "Nothing is better than beer. Lite beer is better than nothing. Therefore, lite beer is better than beer." Patently false (lite beer is swill unfit for human consumption, whereas a good Stout is a gift from Heaven), but the similarities can fool the inattentive.

    If only...

    This seems to me, to be an excellent example of reductive reasoning. And I'm going to take issue with stouts, as well. In my opinion they are better suited to sealing cracks in asphalt. lol
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
    Gordy
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,712

    I have before me a letter from Jeremy Rifkin, author of Entropy: A New World View. His communication states that "entropy helps explain why we have runaway inflation, soaring unemployment, bloated bureaucracies, a widely escalating energy crisis, and worsening pollution."

    I happen to believe Mr. Rifkin is right on the money. I couldn't care less that Mr. Morowitz believes that his precious term is being summarily violated in some way and that he has an obligation to save it.

    Making up your own meaning for a word is not clear writing or clear thinking.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,287
    en·tro·py
    [ˈentrəpē]
    NOUN

    1. physics
    a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.
    2. lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder:
    "a marketplace where entropy reigns supreme"
    synonyms: deterioration · degeneration · crumbling · decline · [more]
    3. (in information theory) a logarithmic measure of the rate of transfer of information in a particular message or language.

    Powered by Oxford Dictionaries · © Oxford University Press ·

    Hello: It seems entropy has multiple meanings, so everybody is correct! o:)

    Yours, Larry
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Race to the bottom......entropy......
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,230
    All together now -

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    Gordy
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,712
    2. lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder:
    "a marketplace where entropy reigns supreme"
    synonyms: deterioration · degeneration · crumbling · decline · [more]


    How does "a marketplace where entropy reigns supreme" increase?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,976
    Wow.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment