ENERGY AND ENTROPY BASIC INFORMATION


The two central concepts of thermodynamics are energy and entropy. Most other concepts we use in thermodynamics, for example temperature and pressure, may actually be defined in terms of energy and entropy.

Both energy and entropy are properties of physical systems, but they have very different characteristics. Energy is conserved: it can neither be produced nor destroyed, although it is possible to change its form or move it around.

Entropy has a diff erent character: it can't be destroyed, but it's easy to produce more entropy (and almost everything that happens actually does). Like energy, entropy too can appear in di erent forms and be moved around.

A clear understanding of these two properties and the transformations they undergo in physical processes is the key to mastering thermodynamics and learning to use it to solve practical problems.


Entropy is a somewhat abstract property, and it is difficult to give a physical description of it without considering the microscopic state of the system. Entropy is best understood and appreciated by studying its uses in commonly encountered engineering processes.



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