Entropy and Information
This is just...entropy, he said, thinking that this explained everything, and he repeated the strange word a few times. 1 ? Karel Capek , “Krakatit” This “strange word” denotes one of the most basic quantities of the physics of heat phenomena, that is, of thermodynamics. Although the concept of entropy did indeed originate in thermodynamics, it later became clear that it was a more universal concept, of fundamental signi?cance for chemistry and biology, as well as physics. Although the concept of energy is usually considered more important and easier to grasp, it turns out, as we shall see, that the idea of entropy is just as substantial—and moreover not all that complicated. We can compute or measure the quantity of energy contained in this sheet of paper, and the same is true of its entropy. Furthermore, entropy has remarkable properties. Our galaxy, the solar system, and the biosphere all take their being from entropy, as a result of its transferenceto the surrounding medium. Thereis a surprisingconnectionbetween entropyandinformation,thatis,thetotalintelligencecommunicatedbyamessage. All of this is expounded in the present book, thereby conveying informationto the readeranddecreasinghis entropy;butitis uptothe readertodecidehowvaluable this information might be.
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adiabatic albumin amino acids amount of heat artistic atoms barometric formula biological bits body Boltzmann’s formula calculate caloric Carnot cycle cell change in entropy Chapter chemical reaction compression consider constant contained crystal decrease demon dissipation function dissipative system distribution elastic enthalpy equation equilibrium evolution example export of entropy Figure flow fluctuations force free energy gases Gibbs free energy heat conduction heat engine Hence ideal gas increase in entropy internal energy involving irreplaceability isolated system isothermal joules/mole kinetic energy law of conservation law of thermodynamics letters liquid living organism log2 means measure mechanics molecules motion non-equilibrial number of molecules obtain occur open system particles phase transition phenomena physicist physics poem pressure probability quantity quantum quantum mechanics random receptor redundancy result rubber Russian second law stationary statistical weight structure substance theoretical theory Trans universe velocity vessel volume whence zero