# Thermodynamics Articles

### What Thermodynamics and Entropy Means

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Introduction The student of thermodynamics, as they consider pistons and ideal gasses and such, often begin to grasp the nature of entropy only to find…

### How to Better Define Information in Physics

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When I ask questions about the conservation of information I frequently get the reply, “It depends on what you mean by information.”   So, I researched…

### Learn Statistical Mechanics: The Ideal Gas

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Read Part 1: Equilibrium Systems The Ideal Gas: Boltzmann's Approach (The Microcanonical Ensemble) Consider a monatomic gas of ##N## non-interacting…

### Learn Statistical Mechanics: Equilibrium Systems

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This is the first of a multi-part series of articles intended to give a concise overview of statistical mechanics and some of its applications. These articles…

### Learn Partial Differentiation Without Tears

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Differentiation is usually taught quite well. Perhaps that's because it is the first introduction to calculus, which is considered a big step in a student's…

### Was the Early Universe in a Disordered State?

No. The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy can only increase, so if the early universe had been in a state of maximum entropy, then the cosmos…

### How to Build a Definition for Heat

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One of the most frustrating misconceptions in Thermodynamics centers on the actual definition of heat. Many science/engineering students often refer to…

### Reversible vs Irreversible Gas Compression and Expansion Work

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Introduction In learning Thermodynamics, one of the difficult concepts that many students struggle with is the difference between reversible and irreversible…

### What are Negative Absolute Temperatures

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It's a famous result in thermodynamics that you can't reach absolute zero no matter how hard you try. Also, the definition of absolute zero makes it obvious…

### Understanding Entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

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Introduction The second law of thermodynamics and the associated concept of entropy have been sources of confusion to thermodynamics students for centuries.…