Theoretical Entropy Clock

  1. Hello dbmorpher here,
    I was looking at some articles on entropy and wondered, could this be used to calculate time?
    Entropy is known as the arrow of time, figurative I know but could actually be used to measure.
    If there was a device that calculated the entropy in a set system couldn't it automatically calculate it and give a numerical value?
    This would need a set system for all clocks but would render any other non- atomic clocks obsolete because it is based on measurements and calculations instead of gears and circuitry.

    I would like to know if what I said in that last sentence could happen and if I could make one myself.

    I found this
    But I do not understand it very well.
  2. jcsd
  3. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,735
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    This is VERY puzzling. What system do you wish to measure the entropy of that is SO reliable as to be used as a clock? And how would this be more accurate than current atomic/Cs clock?

    BTW, the naive link between entropy and the arrow of time is a QUALITATIVE relationship, not a QUANTITATIVE one. Nothing here says that entropy can provide an accurate MEASURE of time.

  4. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Right. I could use a pot of water on my stove as a clock, but it would be cumbersome and not all that accurate.
  5. Well from what I have learned entropy is measured not observed, therefore a small calculator sized computer could be fitted to a clock and measure the entropy in the system, the only way for the clock to be inaccurate is if the laws of thermodynamics broke.
    Refute me if I am wrong.
  6. Can you not think of all clocks in this way? A wound clock has less microstates available to it than an unwound clock. A clock is that which measures entropy change reliably. Reliably being defined as: it progresses in some constant ratio to other clocks.
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