entropy

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entropy

 [en´trŏ-pe]
1. in thermodynamics, a measure of the part of the internal energy of a system that is unavailable to do work. In any spontaneous process, such as the flow of heat from a hot region to a cold region, entropy always increases.
2. the tendency of a system to move toward randomness.
3. in information theory, the negative of information, a measure of the disorder or randomness in a physical system. The theory of statistical mechanics proves that this concept is equivalent to entropy as defined in thermodynamics.
4. diminished capacity for spontaneous change, as occurs in the psyche in aging.

en·tro·py (S),

(en'trŏ-pē),
That fraction of heat (energy) content not available for the performance of work, usually because (in a chemical reaction) it has been used to increase the random motion of the atoms or molecules in the system; thus, entropy is a measure of randomness or disorder. Entropy occurs in the Gibbs free energy (G) equation: ΔG = ΔH - TΔSH, change in enthalpy or heat content; T, absolute temperature; ΔS, change in entropy; ΔG, change in Gibbs free energy).
See also: second law of thermodynamics.
[G. entropia, a turning toward]

en·tro·py

(S) (en'trŏ-pē)
That fraction of heat (energy) content not available for the performance of work, usually because (in a chemical reaction) it has been used to increase the random motion of the atoms or molecules in the system; thus, a measure of randomness or disorder.
[G. entropia, a turning toward]

entropy

the amount of disorder or the degree of randomness of a system. For example, when a protein is denatured by heat (see DENATURATION), the molecule (which has a definite shape) uncoils and takes up a random shape, producing a large change in entropy.