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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce entropy (audio)

Dictionary definition of entropy

The natural tendency of a system to move from a state of order to a state of greater disorder over time.
"In thermodynamics, entropy is a measure of the disorder or randomness of a system."

Detailed meaning of entropy

The noun "entropy" is a concept derived from thermodynamics and refers to the measure of disorder or randomness in a system. It is a fundamental principle in the study of energy transfer and the behavior of systems. In thermodynamics, the second law states that in any energy exchange or transformation, the total entropy of a closed system will either increase or remain constant, but it will never decrease. This concept has implications in various fields, such as physics, chemistry, biology, and even information theory. Entropy serves as a key factor in understanding processes ranging from the dissipation of heat to the evolution of complex systems, ultimately contributing to our comprehension of the universe's inherent tendency towards increased randomness and equilibrium.

Example sentences containing entropy

1. The entropy of the universe is constantly increasing, according to the second law of thermodynamics.
2. The entropy of the system increased as the gas expanded in the container.
3. The law of increasing entropy states that natural processes tend to move towards a state of maximum disorder.
4. The scientist measured the entropy change during the phase transition of the substance.
5. In information theory, entropy is used to quantify the amount of uncertainty in a set of outcomes.
6. His room was a perfect example of entropy, with clothes and papers scattered everywhere.

History and etymology of entropy

The noun 'entropy' finds its roots in the realm of physics and thermodynamics. It was introduced into scientific discourse in the mid-19th century and is derived from the Greek word 'entropia,' where 'en' means 'in' or 'inside,' and 'tropos' translates to 'transformation' or 'way.' In the context of thermodynamics, entropy refers to a measure of the amount of disorder or randomness within a closed system. It signifies the natural tendency of energy to disperse and systems to move from a state of order to a state of greater disorder over time. This concept has profound implications in various scientific fields, from physics to information theory, and has become a fundamental principle describing the arrow of time and the spontaneous evolution of systems towards increased randomness and chaos.

Quiz: Find the meaning of entropy

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Further usage examples of entropy

1. As the ice melted, the entropy of the water molecules increased.
2. The concept of entropy is central to understanding the directionality of time and the flow of energy.
3. In data compression, algorithms often make use of entropy to minimize redundancy.
4. Reducing the entropy in a system generally requires the input of energy.
5. The teacher used the analogy of a messy room to explain the concept of entropy to her students.
6. The entropy of a black hole is proportional to the area of its event horizon.
7. He noticed a sense of entropy in the organization as discipline and order started to break down.
8. In cosmology, the eventual heat death of the universe is associated with the idea of maximum entropy.
9. Entropy is a fundamental concept in thermodynamics.
10. Over time, the entropy of the universe is said to increase.
11. The second law of thermodynamics deals with entropy.
12. In a closed system, entropy tends to rise.
13. Understanding entropy is crucial in chemistry.
14. The concept of entropy applies to information theory.
15. Entropy is a measure of randomness in a system.
16. The gradual decay of a building reflects entropy.
17. Entropy can be seen as a measure of chaos.
18. The entropy of a gas increases as it expands.
19. The concept of entropy is linked to the arrow of time.
20. The entropy of a crystal is lower than that of a gas.
21. The decrease in organization is a result of entropy.
22. Entropy plays a role in the degradation of energy.
23. The universe's entropy is a topic of cosmological debate.
24. Entropy's increase is a natural process in isolated systems.



disorder, orderliness, structure, organization


Prefix en-, SAT 14 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Chaos and Disorder, Chaos and Confusion

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