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Re Entropy In Physics

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Posted by Michael Levine on July 21, 2003 15:31:14 UTC

You are correct, the concept of entropy came about when people realized they could only extract so much energy from a heat source. It's quite an old concept actually, I believe the concern started with how to increase the efficiency of steam engines.

In our age however, entropy is better understood in the terms heat itself is better understood: as the motion of particles. Heat itself is not a fundamental property of matter, it can be reduced to mechanics. The problem is, there's no entropy in mechanics; kinetic energy can't be lost. Hence the more modern definition of entropy in terms of our ability to control the motion of particles.

But I'm getting too vague by now. Sorry.

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