Title

Insight into entropy

Abstract

What is the qualitative character of entropy? Several examples from statistical mechanics (including liquid crystal reentrant phases, two different lattice gas models, and the game of poker) demonstrate facets of this difficult question and point toward an answer. The common answer of "entropy as disorder" is regarded here as inadequate. An alternative but equally problematic analogy is "entropy as freedom.'' Neither simile is perfect, but if both are used cautiously and not too literally, when the combination provides considerable insight.

Publisher

American Association of Physics Teachers

Publication Date

12-1-2000

Publication Title

American Journal of Physics

Department

Physics and Astronomy

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1119/1.1287353

Language

English

Format

text

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