Entropy is all about increasing disorder

I’ve called this blog Increasing Disorder because it can relate to entropy, and because I’m a big nerd. Entropy is part of the second law of thermodynamics.

In terms of thermodynamics, the entropy of one system will not decrease unless the entropy of another system increases. That’s why condensation will build up on the outside of a glass of a cold beverage on a hot day (or in a warm room). It’s actually to do with the application of work to the colder item. You can’t just create work, it has to flow from somewhere else.








It’s a cool gin and tonic in a warm room. Source: http://soupisnotafingerfood.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/gin-cropped.jpg

Referring to statistical mechanics, entropy usually relates to order, or disorder as the case may be. It relates to how molecules may be arranged and the resultant effect on observable systems. As entropy increases, so does the disorder (hence the name of the blog). But, order can be produced via increasing entropy, i.e., order from chaos. Apparently.

Which brings me to why I named my blog after a property of physics and not some cool biological thing. Firstly, because there is already a super-cool blog called Pharyngula (that you all should check out, if you haven’t already) and I’d just be a copy-cat. I really like his Friday Cephalopod posts, and also the fact that he can’t stand that awful, weasley Christopher Monckton either. Although there could be many blogs named after physics terms, I didn’t bother to check. Secondly, I think it relates to what I’m trying to do as a scientist: create order from chaos.

Disclaimer: I’m a biologist, not a physicist.


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