Thermodynamics Articles

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What is Entropy

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…
information definition

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…
statmech2

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…
statmech1

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…
partial-differentiation

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…
earlyuniverse

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…
heat

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…
gas compression

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…
negative temperature

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…
Thermodynamics

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.…