SECOND LAW & ENTROPY.

SECOND LAW & ENTROPY. - The Second Law and Entropy (a...

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The Second Law and Entropy (a first look) Thermodynamics, at its most basic level, is the study of heat flow in an orderly way. A good way to start thinking about heat flow is to consider a refrigerator. The part inside that is cold, is insulated from the outside world, and in thermo talk it is called “the system”. Everything else that is outside the cold part, is “the surroundings”. It is conventional, in thermodynamics to take the point of view of the system. Imagine yourself inside the frig. Heat leaves as the frig starts to operate, and if you are inside this heat is lost to you (and the system) and is given a negative sign. Since the system (inside) is getting colder as the frig operates, the temperature is going down. This tends to reduce the number of ways the molecules inside the frig can arrange themselves, which might not be the first thing you think of, if you are focused on getting a cold drink. However, this reduction in the number of ways the system has of arranging itself, is very fundamental, and is called the entropy of the system. The
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This note was uploaded on 01/16/2012 for the course ENVIRON 404 taught by Professor Rasmussen during the Fall '11 term at University of Michigan.

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SECOND LAW & ENTROPY. - The Second Law and Entropy (a...

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