entropy

noun en·tro·py \ ˈen-trə-pē \
|Updated on: 17 Jul 2018

Definition of entropy

plural entropies
1 thermodynamics : a measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system's disorder, that is a property of the system's state, and that varies directly with any reversible change in heat in the system and inversely with the temperature of the system; broadly : the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system
2 a : the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity
  • Entropy is the general trend of the universe toward death and disorder.
  • —James R. Newman
b : a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder
  • The deterioration of copy editing and proof-reading, incidentally, is a token of the cultural entropy that has overtaken us in the postwar years.
  • —John Simon
4 statistical mechanics : a factor or quantity that is a function of the physical state of a mechanical system and is equal to the logarithm of the probability for the occurrence of the particular molecular arrangement in that state
5 communication theory : a measure of the efficiency of a system (such as a code or a language) in transmitting information, being equal to the logarithm of the number of different messages that can be sent by selection from the same set of symbols and thus indicating the degree of initial uncertainty that can be resolved by any one message

entropic

play \en-ˈtrō-pik, -ˈträ-pik\ adjective

entropically

play \en-ˈtrō-pi-k(ə-)lē, -ˈträ-\ adverb

Recent Examples of entropy from the Web

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Did You Know?

With its Greek prefix en-, meaning "within", and the trop- root here meaning "change", entropy basically means "change within (a closed system)". The closed system we usually think of when speaking of entropy (especially if we're not physicists) is the entire universe. But entropy applies to closed systems of any size. Entropy is seen when the ice in a glass of water in a warm room melts—that is, as the temperature of everything in the room evens out. In a slightly different type of entropy, a drop of food coloring in that glass of water soon spreads out evenly. However, when a nonphysicist uses the word, he or she is usually trying to describe a large-scale collapse.

Origin and Etymology of entropy

International Scientific Vocabulary 2en- + Greek tropē change, literally, turn, from trepein to turn

Other Chemical Engineering Terms


Medical Dictionary

entropy

noun en·tro·py \ ˈen-trə-pē \

medical Definition of entropy

plural entropies
: a measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system's disorder and that is a property of the system's state and is related to it in such a manner that a reversible change in heat in the system produces a change in the measure which varies directly with the heat change and inversely with the absolute temperature at which the change takes place; broadly : the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system

entropic

play \en-ˈtrōp-ik, -ˈträp-\ adjective

entropically

play \-i-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

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