Entropy in everyday life

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wegs, May 20, 2019.

  1. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    To my way of thinking anyway, it would seem difficult to define order, without also defining disorder, and perhaps vice versa. Both are necessary for balance / equilibrium. What are your thoughts on that?
     
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  3. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    It isn't a dichotomy. It's a continuum.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I see no reason why a system can't be perfectly ordered, with zero entropy.


    It might be simpler to think of a concrete example, such as a deck of cards.
    When the cards come out of the pack they are in a specific order...

    Hang on... that's not right...

    What constitutes "order" in a deck of cards is arbitrary. We say it's ordered because we consider the numbers to be important. But that's subjective.
    Objectively speaking, A23 is exactly as "ordered" as 3A2.

    I'm confused... Is order/entropy defined subjectively?
     
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  7. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I was taught to think of entropy in terms of energy instead of things. A23 would have the same energy distribution as 3A2.
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    A roomful of mixing gases has entropy. That's just a deck of cards writ large.
     
  9. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    All God's chillum got entropy.
     
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  10. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    I think we have two options - we can look at entropy as a measure of disorder within a system or a measure of the energy dispersal in the system. It can be subjective or objective, depending on what you're assessing. My idea of disorder (using the messy house example) might be different than another person's opinion of disorder.

    The popcorn example would be objective.

    Am I right/wrong?
     
  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    A measure of energy dispersal is the most correct way to think of entropy, to my understanding. There is a link between that and the degree of disorder of the system measured in other ways, e.g. physical arrangement e.g. solid vs liquid etc.
     
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  12. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Picked from my thought bubble collection

    Could / should it be the other way around?

    Currently we think of what we have, Universe wise, as being orderly

    But everything is finding a level of heat where it will be the same (level) throughout the Universe

    To me that would be more orderly than a Universe with hot and cold spots scattered throughout

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  13. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    As we sometimes point out to creationists, a stack of bricks is more orderly than a house.
     
  14. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    So, if entropy is basically the measurement of the energy dispersal, how is it (also) a measurement of the uncertainty of a system? -Or- Do we assume that energy dispersal automatically leads to uncertainty? We've discussed that it's a measure of the amount of energy unavailable to do work, would that equate to the uncertainty (disorder)? That is what confuses me, I think.
     
  15. river Valued Senior Member

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    Absolutely

    But can not regain the energy expended doing so .



    There is no uncertainty . That is mathematical concept .

    To the three dimensional physical Universe perspective , all energy states have all ways existed , hence the " uncertainty " becomes certain .

    There is a cycle of all energy states . All energy states are part of the cycle .

    From the extreme energy heat energy of the Galaxy and Quasars , to the extreme cold of the Cosmic Web ( of which we can't see , because it gives no electromagnetic wave energy , no light waves ).

    They all have existed , together , at all moments , for infinity .
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  16. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    what?? ^^

    Entropy is a measure of uncertainty.
     
  17. river Valued Senior Member

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    Because of what the physical is doing .
     
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Do not take this bait. It will only end in you pulling your hair out.
     
  19. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Suppose you know the order of a deck of cards, then the cards are shuffled and placed in a deck face down. The known order and the shuffled one have an entropy.

    What you know is subjective--you know an initial ordering and that there is a new ordering, which you have no information about.
     
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Right. Which suggests entropy (at least this version of it) is arbitrary.

    I could
    1] take an ordered deck of cards,
    2] declare it in perfect order (because today I happen to like sequential human numbers, and also happen to like spades more than hearts),
    3] shuffle it
    4] calculate the increase in entropy of the new state
    and then
    5] declare that the new state is in perfect order (because it spells out my birthday) and that entropy is magically zero again.

    Sorry, entropy is arbitrary is not the proper phrase; the proper phrase would be: entropy is dependent on the propert(ies) of interest.
     
  21. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Well, many people are saying, there can be only one version.
    Yes, that's acceptable except the part that says "entropy is magically zero", because the entropy in 4] is 'between' the cards in 1] and in 3].

    It's what happens at 3] that is actually the more interesting part. Here is where you now, before you go to 4] and look at the order of the deck, expect to see some 'randomness'. You don't expect that after shuffling a deck of cards they are in the same order; you don't expect to see a repeating pattern either.

    In information theory, a message with unexpected information has more "content" than one with expected information. It's a bit back-to-front.
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Except that randomness is arbitrary too.

    For all we know, the 52 cards now happen to count out the first 52 digits of pi ... "in perfect order".


    Agree (a conclusion I reached when young, before I had ever even heard of information theory).
    But how does it inform this topic?
    One man's randomness is another man's information.
     
  23. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm. The ''order'' will never "return", no matter how many times we shuffle a deck of cards, though. So, a ''new state'' would never be in perfect order.
     

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