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# Entropy definition

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Can Entropy be simply defined as the tendency of all matter to disintegrate and annihilate in its transition to pure energy?

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Entropy is defined statistically. It's just a matter of probabilities. If there's only one way for matter to be perfectly ordered and there are a bazillion ways for it to be disordered gunk, perfectly ordered matter will eventually transition to a gunk state, because every state is possible. Once the matter is in a gunk state, the probability of going back to the ordered state is 1 divided by a bazillion, which is vanishingly small. The gunk will keep transitioning back and forth among the various gunk states, so it will effectively be disordered gunk forever.

Edited by Lorentz Jr
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2 hours ago, Ramon Zuniga said:

Can Entropy be simply defined as the tendency of all matter to disintegrate and annihilate in its transition to pure energy?

I'm not aware of any tendency of all matter to annihilate.

Also, what is pure energy?

Entropy has to do with disorder. You have a macroscopic state defined by few variables that's made up of many microstates you can't tell apart.

Entropy of a piece of matter is the sum of its parts, and thermodynamic equilibrium is defined by entropy reaching a maximum. That pretty much constrains entropy in terms of probabilities of individual microstates.

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6 hours ago, Ramon Zuniga said:

Can Entropy be simply defined as the tendency of all matter to disintegrate and annihilate in its transition to pure energy?

Short version answer.

No.

Please also rember that there is more than one type of 'entropy'.

Sadly, because the same distribution laws are followed by the the type of thermodynamic entropy you are referring to, which has a physical reality as a property, as the some of the purely abstract laws of information entropy the same term is used.

6 hours ago, Lorentz Jr said:

Entropy is defined statistically. It's just a matter of probabilities. If there's only one way for matter to be perfectly ordered and there are a bazillion ways for it to be disordered gunk, perfectly ordered matter will eventually transition to a gunk state, because every state is possible. Once the matter is in a gunk state, the probability of going back to the ordered state is 1 divided by a bazillion, which is vanishingly small. The gunk will keep transitioning back and forth among the various gunk states, so it will effectively be disordered gunk forever.

Whilst there is much truth in this, see also my note above about other types of 'entropy'.

A good reference for this is

What is Random ?  -  Chance and Order in Mathematics and Life.

Beltrami

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On 11/28/2022 at 9:00 PM, Lorentz Jr said:

Entropy is defined statistically. It's just a matter of probabilities. If there's only one way for matter to be perfectly ordered and there are a bazillion ways for it to be disordered gunk, perfectly ordered matter will eventually transition to a gunk state, because every state is possible. Once the matter is in a gunk state, the probability of going back to the ordered state is 1 divided by a bazillion, which is vanishingly small. The gunk will keep transitioning back and forth among the various gunk states, so it will effectively be disordered gunk forever.

On 11/28/2022 at 11:05 PM, joigus said:

I'm not aware of any tendency of all matter to annihilate.

Also, what is pure energy?

Entropy has to do with disorder. You have a macroscopic state defined by few variables that's made up of many microstates you can't tell apart.

Entropy of a piece of matter is the sum of its parts, and thermodynamic equilibrium is defined by entropy reaching a maximum. That pretty much constrains entropy in terms of probabilities of individual microstates.

On 11/28/2022 at 9:00 PM, Lorentz Jr said:

Entropy is defined statistically. It's just a matter of probabilities. If there's only one way for matter to be perfectly ordered and there are a bazillion ways for it to be disordered gunk, perfectly ordered matter will eventually transition to a gunk state, because every state is possible. Once the matter is in a gunk state, the probability of going back to the ordered state is 1 divided by a bazillion, which is vanishingly small. The gunk will keep transitioning back and forth among the various gunk states, so it will effectively be disordered gunk forever.

Thank you Lorentz Jr for your very practical explanation.

In summary, if chances are that matter will eventually transition to a gunk state; what would be the conditions (that you discard) for matter in gunk state to eventually transition to just photons?

On 11/28/2022 at 11:05 PM, joigus said:

I'm not aware of any tendency of all matter to annihilate.

Also, what is pure energy?

Entropy has to do with disorder. You have a macroscopic state defined by few variables that's made up of many microstates you can't tell apart.

Entropy of a piece of matter is the sum of its parts, and thermodynamic equilibrium is defined by entropy reaching a maximum. That pretty much constrains entropy in terms of probabilities of individual microstates.

Thank you joigus.

I used the words “annihilate” and “pure energy” to denote the disorganization of matter to eventually become just photons; because, according with all that I’ve read about Entropy, it seems to me sort of a regression of matter to its origins as energy.

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2 hours ago, Ramon Zuniga said:

Thank you joigus.

I used the words “annihilate” and “pure energy” to denote the disorganization of matter to eventually become just photons; because, according with all that I’ve read about Entropy, it seems to me sort of a regression of matter to its origins as energy.

Conservation of charge* precludes for all matter to transition to just photons. That's not what entropic death means. I suppose you're referring to entropic death of the universe: The alleged final state of all matter, with everything the same everywhere. The entropic death of the universe is a scenario that some people have contemplated, but it's probably not what the universe will end up like. And the reason is that the universe is very different from a gas of particles that exchange energy among themselves to end up in a state of total homogeneity. Gravity is very different. A thermally-exhausted universe would look very different from a gas of photons, believe me.

*I don't mean just electric charge. I mean all charges: electric, weak, strong, barionic number, lepton number.

Edited by joigus
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4 hours ago, Ramon Zuniga said:

I used the words “annihilate” and “pure energy” to denote the disorganization of matter to eventually become just photons; because, according with all that I’ve read about Entropy, it seems to me sort of a regression of matter to its origins as energy.

There is no such thing as pure energy and the hot death of the universe is a self contradictory myth.

I respectfully suggest you need to properly understand what these terms mean before you can understand entropy, which then really becomes very simple.

Edited by studiot
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16 hours ago, Ramon Zuniga said:

... according with all that I’ve read about Entropy, it seems to me sort of a regression of matter to its origins as energy.

Everything we have ever observed regarding the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics flatly refutes the idea of reincarnation as a global destiny. It is entirely the wrong picture to have in your head as to the nature of entropy. Our destiny is to boldly go where no one has been before. The future cannot ever revisit the past.

Having said that, of the many 'pop science' definitions of entropy that have been kicking around for the last century and a half, I've found the greatest assistance from picturing an increasing entropy as a measure of increasing global diversity. It has at least the virtue of a more positive vibe than 'chaos'. Or 'gunk'.

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