Monday, 23 November 2009

Second Law of Thermodynamics - The Laws of Heat Power

The Second Law of Thermodynamics is one of three Laws of Thermodynamics. The term "thermodynamics" comes from two root words: "thermo," meaning heat, and "dynamic," meaning power. Thus, the Laws of Thermodynamics are the Laws of "Heat Power." As far as we can tell, these Laws are absolute. All things in the observable universe are affected by and obey the Laws of Thermodynamics.

The First Law of Thermodynamics, commonly known as the Law of Conservation of Matter, states that matter/energy cannot be created nor can it be destroyed. The quantity of matter/energy remains the same. It can change from solid to liquid to gas to plasma and back again, but the total amount of matter/energy in the universe remains constant.

Second Law of Thermodynamics - Increased Entropy
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is commonly known as the Law of Increased Entropy. While quantity remains the same (First Law), the quality of matter/energy deteriorates gradually over time. How so? Usable energy is inevitably used for productivity, growth and repair. In the process, usable energy is converted into unusable energy. Thus, usable energy is irretrievably lost in the form of unusable energy.

"Entropy" is defined as a measure of unusable energy within a closed or isolated system (the universe for example). As usable energy decreases and unusable energy increases, "entropy" increases. Entropy is also a gauge of randomness or chaos within a closed system. As usable energy is irretrievably lost, disorganization, randomness and chaos increase.

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