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Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 9 years ago

Simple explanation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

6 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    oog, entropy is never easy to explain but i'll try my best.

    so the Second Law says something about the entropy of the universe increasing every time energy is used up or a reaction occurs.

    Entropy is the disorder of the universe. For example, if a cheetah eats an antelope, it gains energy. But when it runs, it gives off energy in the form of heat instead of being perfectly conserved. Heat escapes into the atmosphere, and is random and uncontrollable. Another example--if you throw a stack of pages into the air, they will scatter around everywhere. Their scattered state is far less organized than their stacked state. Also, when the pages land, there are many ways in exactly what formation they would land in. there is a tiny tiny chance that they will land exactly how they were before--in a stack.

    Scenarios like those happen all the time, creating more and more disorder.

    i've realized that wasn't really a simple explanation...sry lol. but hopefully it makes sense to you.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Second Law Of Thermodynamics Explained

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    <<How does the Theory of Evolution coexist with the Second Law of Thermodynamics?>> Easily, given the plentiful supply of energy provided by a thing called the Sun and the much smaller amount generated by radioactive decay on Earth. <<The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the entropy of the universe increases in all processes.>> It doesn't. It talks about an increase in entropy within a closed system. Whether the universe is a closed system is something I don't pretend to know. However, the Earth certainly isn't one. <<How does something go from being simple to being more complex if it always becomes more disorderly?>> Ice seems to manage it very nicely, The reduction in the heat causes the water to change from a disordered liquid state into organized crystals, and there's nothing in the actual second law of thermodynamics telling it to stop doing so. However, some people claim otherwise, and this demonstrates their lack of understanding. Besides, never mind a trifling bit of biological evolution on some small planet somewhere or other. If the misunderstood version were actually correct, then how could the galaxies possibly have formed after the big bang kick off of this universe? How could the Sun merrily grow chemically more complex by converting hydrogen into helium (and other small amounts of stuff)? Ergo, the misunderstood version mooted isn't correct.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    Evolution isn't an adiabatic process indeed. The Earth is not an isolated system. It may be roughly a closed system, but it is not an isolated system thanks to the mode of heat transfer known as radiation. It rejects MUCH entropy to the cosmic background via thermal radiation (that is why it gets cold at night)....much more than is reduced by improving the diversity of life. AND, did you ever consider that Earth has both a living part and a non-living part? The non-living part suffers tremendous damage to keep the living part going, even if you remove humanity from the picture. Remember, evolution is only applicable for explaining the DIVERSITY OF LIFE ON EARTH (or life in general when it eventually becomes applicable to say so). The universe is a lot bigger of a picture than our lonely blue dot of a planet. The second law of thermodynamics only says that entropy of the universe will either remain constant or increase (and never decrease). Entropy of course, can locally decrease, as long as it locally increases elsewhere.

  • 9 years ago

    here are all the laws:

    Laws of Thermodynamics

    The behavior of a thermodynamic system is summarized in the laws of thermodynamics, which concisely are:

    Zeroth law of thermodynamics

    If A, B, C are thermodynamic systems such that A is in thermal equilibrium with B and B is in thermal equilibrium with C, then A is in thermal equilibrium with C.

    The zeroth law is of importance in thermometry, because it implies the existence of temperature scales. In practice, C is a thermometer, and the zeroth law says that systems that are in thermodynamic equilibrium with each other have the same temperature. The law was actually the last of the laws to be formulated.

    First law of thermodynamics

    dU = δQ – δW

    where dU is the infinitesimal increase in internal energy of the system, δQ is the infinitesimal heat flow into the system, and δW is the infinitesimal work done by the system.

    The first law is the law of conservation of energy. The symbol δ instead of the plain d, originated in the work of German mathematician Carl Gottfried Neumann and is used to denote an inexact differential and to indicate that Q and W are path-dependent (i.e., they are not state functions). In some fields such as physical chemistry, positive work is conventionally considered work done on the system rather than by the system, and the law is expressed as dU = δQ + δW.

    Second law of thermodynamics

    The entropy of an isolated system never decreases: dS ≥ 0 for an isolated system. A concept related to the second law which is important in thermodynamics is that of reversibility. A process within a given isolated system is said to be reversible if throughout the process the entropy never increases (i.e. the entropy remains unchanged).

    Third law of thermodynamics

    S = 0 when T = 0

    The third law of thermodynamics states that at the absolute zero of temperature, the entropy is zero for a perfect crystalline structure.

  • 9 years ago

    Thermodynamics is like playing Poker

    1st Law: you cannot win more that the money on the table. •==> the sum of the money in the players pockets at the end of the game cannot exceed the sum of the money in the players pocket at the start of the game

    2nd Law; the house (the universe) always takes a cut===> the sum of the money in the players pockets at the end of the game is less that the sum of the money in the pockets of the players at the start of the game. Because, the house took some of the money (entropy )

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