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Entropy vs. video game controllers

  1. Nov 8, 2009 #1
    A couple days ago, after giving my little brother a beating at Super Smash Bros, he asked me,
    "Why is it that controllers get more tangled up over time?"

    I realized that this was a great example of entropy, and so I thought I'd share it here, for anyone who's having trouble with the concept.

    Entropy is generally defined as the degree of disorder of a system. A tangled wad of gamecube controllers has higher entropy than untangled ones. The 2nd law of thermodynamics states that a closed system will get more disordered over time (entropy will increase). This is exactly what happens to gamecube controllers, and here's why:

    After every Super Smash Bros beat-down session between me and my two brothers, we always put the controllers back on the shelf, rather haphazardly. When we do, there is only one way to put them back that will make them less tangled, and there are many many ways to put them back that will make them more tangled. So, over time, they get more tangled.
  2. jcsd
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