Thermodynamics Articles


What is Entropy

On the Meaning of Entropy

Introduction The intent of this article is to clarify the meaning of entropy and, while doing so, point out how a deeper analysis of entropy in classical…
information definition

How to Better Define Information in Physics

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

Statistical Mechanics: The Ideal Gas

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

Statistical Mechanics: Equilibrium Systems

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

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…

Building a Definition for Heat

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

Reversible Vs Irreversible Gas Compression and Expansion Work

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

Negative absolute temperatures

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

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