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Unformatted text preview: It is clear from the previous discussion that entropy is a useful property and
serves as a valuable tool in the second-law analysis of engineering devices.
But this does not mean that we know and understand entropy well. Because
we do not. In fact, we cannot even give an adequate answer to the question,
What is entropy? Not being able to describe entropy fully, however, does not
take anything away from its usefulness. We could not define energy either, but
it did not interfere with our understanding of energy transformations and the
conservation of energy principle. Granted, entropy is not a household word
like energy. But with continued use, our understanding of entropy will deepen,
and our appreciation of it will grow. The next discussion will shed some light
on the physical meaning of entropy by considering the microscopic nature of
Entropy can be viewed as a measure of molecular disorder, or molecular
randomness. As a system becomes more disordered, the positions of the molecules become less predictable and the entropy increases. Thus, it is not surpri...
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- Spring '09