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Lessons From the Bizzaro Universe

The terms Bizarro and Bizarro World originated in Superman comics, where strangely imperfect versions of Superman, other action characters, and even Earth itself were conceived of, and provided the basis of stories.  And who can ever forget the Seinfeld episode entitled “Bizarro Jerry,” in which there are Bizarro versions of Jerry and all his friends?…

How to Determine the Change in Entropy

How do you determine the change in entropy for a closed system that is subjected to an irreversible process? Here are some typical questions we get at Physics Forums from confused members: If I have an irreversible adiabatic process, shouldn’t the change in entropy be zero since q/T is zero? Since entropy is a function of…

Understanding Entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Introduction The second law of thermodynamics and the associated concept of entropy have been sources of confusion to thermodynamics students for centuries.  The objective of the present development is to clear up much of this confusion.  We begin by first briefly reviewing the first law of thermodynamics, in order to introduce in a precise way the concepts of…