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Considering the solar system as a whole, does the decrease in entropy associated with earth's structures mean the 2nd law of thermodynamics is violated in this system?

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Considering the solar system as a whole, does the decrease in entropy associated with earth's structures mean the 2nd law of thermodynamics is violated in this system?

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russ_watters

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phyzguy

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As far as the bigger picture is concerned, though, the existence of life at all would violate thermodynamics for two reasons if atheism were true. First, it would mean the universe is a closed system, and the universe is supposed to have started as hot plasma - one of the most chaotic systems known. Fast forward several billion years, and we now have incredible structures like the human brain, which Isaac Asimov called "the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe." With no input from an agent outside the universe, the increase in order would certainly be a violation of the second law.

And second, order doesn't just increase with an addition of energy. The addition itself must be orderly. If you add chaotic energy, you actually increase the chaos of the system. A good example is a puzzle. Suppose you open a puzzle box and empty its pieces on to a table. The puzzle begins in a state of chaos; the goal of the puzzle is to put its pieces into a state of order. That cannot be done by adding random energy. If you sat some monkeys down at the table, they'd start throwing the pieces around - energy is being expended, but the order not increasing. You must apply

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russ_watters

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Well, no. Entropy is lost via the energy radiated into space. As said, it's an open system.

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russ_watters

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The sun's radiation travels past the limits of the solar system, but if this was all there is, then yes, you could consider it a closed system. This wouldn't change the answer.

Lets keep the religious discussion out of this: this is a science forum.

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I think you were the first one to mention the Young Earth Creation crowd ...Lets keep the religious discussion out of this: this is a science forum.

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If the temperature distribution of the solar system is constant in the long term, which it probably is, its entropy is constant. Except from the structures on earth. So it is crucial what happens to energy emitted to space. If it traveled forever without ever hitting anything, the entire system would have a constant temperature and entropy. Except those cities on earth.

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russ_watters

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Stating the origin of the argument is not a discussion of religion. And my post was not a suggestion. Religious discussion isI think you were the first one to mention the Young Earth Creation crowd ...

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russ_watters

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Neither of those is true. The sun is continuously generating entropy and its fuel does not last forever.....the entire system would have a constant temperature and entropy.

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I'm getting confused now. Is the sun in a constant state or getting more and more random?

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phyzguy

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Please read:

Considering the solar system as a whole, does the decrease in entropy associated with earth's structures mean the 2nd law of thermodynamics is violated in this system?

http://arxiv.org/abs/1003.3937

D. Styer, Am. J. Phys. v.76, 1031 (2008).

http://arxiv.org/abs/0903.4603

http://www.physorg.com/news137679868.html

Zz.

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So even empty space has entropy then, not just matter? And at the time the 2nd law was stated, people included e/m waves in their thinking so even empty space had entropy for them?The entropy of the universe has increased significantly due to the emission of this radiation, far more than the decrease in entropy represented by living things on Earth.

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Thanks ZapperZ. I wonder if evolution is really the same as far as the 2nd law is concerned as intelligent life taking conscious action. The latter must be many orders of magnitude faster. Most urban structure appeared in the last 50-100 years.

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http://arxiv.org/abs/0903.4603v1

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phyzguy

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It is not "empty space" that carries the entropy, it is the photons. If the space includes photons, it is not empty.So even empty space has entropy then, not just matter? And at the time the 2nd law was stated, people included e/m waves in their thinking so even empty space had entropy for them?

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russ_watters

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Entropy is energy, so yes, energy doesn't have to be associated with matter.So even empty space has entropy then, not just matter? And at the time the 2nd law was stated, people included e/m waves in their thinking so even empty space had entropy for them?

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If yes, is this entropy independent of the shape of the radio waves and only dependent on the number of quanta?

Is there some formula defining the entropy of any arbitrary 3D wave pattern?

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russ_watters

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All em radiation carries entropy.What about energy in the form of low frequency radio waves, does this have entropy?

The amount of energy - and therefore entropy - is frequency dependent.If yes, is this entropy independent of the shape of the radio waves and only dependent on the number of quanta?

What's a "3d wave pattern" and what does this have to do with the thread?Is there some formula defining the entropy of any arbitrary 3D wave pattern?

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You really think a building or a road has more order than the nature it replaced? A cell is something incredibly complex and structured compared to a heap of stones, no matter how orderly arranged. One problem is that you're using subjective everyday words like "order" and "disorder" to describe things around us. A city may seem more orderly than a forest to you, but that is highly subjective. In order to describe "order" in a physical sense, you'll have to attend to invisible forms of "order" and "disorder" as well, like the heat radiation emanating from virtually everything. Your brain may think orderly thoughts, but while doing so it emanates heat radiation contributing to the increase of entropy in the universe.

Considering the solar system as a whole, does the decrease in entropy associated with earth's structures mean the 2nd law of thermodynamics is violated in this system?

I don't think any example has been found of the 2nd law of thermodynamics being violated.

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So it's the same energy no matter what the amplitude? ;) I thought entropy is a measure of disorder, not a measure of energy.The amount of energy - and therefore entropy - is frequency dependent.

Never seen one? Let's stick to 2D then, like water waves in a pond. They can be ordered, or they can be noisy. As can e/m waves. I want to know how their entropy is defined as an equation in terms of the wave forms. It can't be just energy.What's a "3d wave pattern" and what does this have to do with the thread?

What does this have to do with intelligent life violating the 2nd law: it's an attempt to define entropy for e/m waves, as they leave the sun and fill the universe. "Entropy = number of photons" seems inappropriate for radio waves.

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