What is an example of entropy from everyday life?

3 Answers

Entropy is a measure of the energy dispersal in the system.

We see evidence that the universe tends toward highest entropy many places in our lives.

A campfire is an example of entropy. The solid wood burns and becomes ash, smoke and gases, all of which spread energy outwards more easily than the solid fuel.

Ice melting, salt or sugar dissolving, making popcorn and boiling water for tea are processes with increasing entropy in your kitchen.

Sep 25, 2015

Explanation of terms entropy and enthalpy.


Explanation of terms entropy and enthalpy which are related to physics sub topic of thermodynamics using analogy (resemblance) from social lives of humans, thus below is the explanation.

A group of young friends in the peak of their youth is very energetic and needs a large play ground to play football or hockey etc, while, when the same group of friends becomes old they become less energetic and then they only need a corner in a small coffee shop to sit together and remember the days of their youth, the memories of those days when they were more energetic and they always wanted to wander here and there.

They always wanted to play and run fast therefore they wanted permissions from their parents to participate in sports that could even harm them so they wanted more allowances, liberties and freedoms from their parents, because such allowances are demand of their energy.

This example from social lives of humans may not show any resemblance with physics sub topic of thermodynamics and its terms such as entropy and enthalpy but this example has a sure analogy (resemblance) with these terms.

We can imagine energy of young or old people as their enthalpy which is in a sense also indicative of their desire of liberty or freedom, while limiting or reducing someones liberty is analogous to reducing someones entropy i.e. reducing liberty or putting ban on someones freedom and this ban can produce an anger and in the terminology of thermodynamics, this anger can be imagined as temperature.

Therefore increase in someones liberty or allowance or freedom is equal to increasing the entropy which consequently results in the the reduction of someones anger or in other words cooling down temperature such as reduction in the anger of innocent people put in prison while they are released.

The same is the situation of the molecules of a gas imprisoned (confined) in a closed container i.e. for instance releasing of a confined gas such as steam in a pressure cooker results in the reduction of the anger of steam molecules (temperature of them) that is when we put off weight from pressure cooker's top and let the steam be filled into a large balloon we notice that the temperature of steam now in the balloon is far less as compared with the temperature of steam when it was within the pressure cooker.

Notice that steam after being released can gain the size (entropy) as large as enthalpy (energy) within it.

Below are some more examples explaining the terms entropy and enthalpy

Example No 1:

Imagine a football tightly filled with air and a large empty balloon which you want to fill by transferring all of the football's air to the balloon, while doing so you are giving the air in football an opportunity to show off its energy (enthalpy) by getting size (entropy) as large as the enthalpy or energy of this air is.

An interesting fact also worth noting is that when you release the air in football to the large balloon, you also increase the hunger or thirst of this air for heat or warmth from nearby objects, surroundings or environment because now this air (after being released has become cooler and as you know that cool things absorb heat energy from surrounding environment on the other hand when earlier we put the air in football previously it turned warmer hence this air tried to release its warmth to the environment.

Example No 2:

In a 4 stroke diesel engine, when piston takes the air into cylinder (pulls the air the into cylinder) i.e. performing the first or inlet stroke while moving from top to bottom, it fully fills the cylinder with air then comes the turn of compressing this air and this compression is too much (about the ratio of 1:20) as compared with a 4 stroke petrol engine.

In this process Entropy is decreased i.e. size of air is decreased without removing heat from the air (while Enthalpy remains same), this decrease in Entropy without decreasing Enthalpy i.e. without dissipating heat somewhere in the surrounding or nearby matter or environment causes a useful rise in the temperature of air about 600 degree centigrade which is more than enough to burn the diesel sprayed at that very time.

Feb 22, 2018

See below


Mix some yellow paint with some blue paint to give green paint.

Observe the container. Let me know when the paint unmixes.