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View Diary: Taking a stroll down Entropy Lane (32 comments)

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  •  Increasing the entropy yet again... (0+ / 0-)

    Those nice little deserts were absorbing energy and radiating it, so we come along, absorb the energy, move it around, and radiate it in every direction into space after use (again, increasing entropy).

    We do get the work out of "useless" solar energy striking our planet, at the cost of increasing heat dispersion.  That doesn't concern me or anybody else, it's just a fact.   I'd rather use solar/wind.  You increase entropy any time you use an energy source, no matter what it is.

    There's really no way around that.'s not just a good idea.  It's the LAW.

    Mostly.  Most of the time.  There are exceptions to it--but not in the human realm, and nothing we can take advantage of to our benefit (by definition).

    (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 01:49:54 PM PST

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    •  well I'm actually more interested (0+ / 0-)

      in the organizing principle, of tapping "free" excess energy,

      than the final heat "balance sheet" at the end of the universe.  (which will be around 0.00000000000001 degrees Kelvin.)

      For now anyways, the Sun will be not running out of heat, anytime soon.  

      At least, on the time-scales that matter to the current challenges, facing us humans.

      I would grant that I may be "stretching" the technical definition of Entropy.

      But there are more "common sense" definitions of the term,
      as I referenced in my post:

      2 b: a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder

      That is the concept, upon which the discussion with my brother, was posed.

      Isn't it time to fix the Filibuster?
      -- Here's how.

      by jamess on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 02:17:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A Trend To Disorder (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Really kind of encompasses the thermodynamic definition as well.

        You can't extract energy from a disordered system as, ultimately, disorder resembles the ultimate order.  Everything's pretty much the same, and there's no differential to exploit.

        Similarly, the Sun's entropy--disorder--is increasing far more rapidly than it would have if the proto-solar cloud had never contracted.  Those nice photons the Sun shoots out are further away every second, and there are more of them.  It's really a very disorderly system at the end of it, with part of the Solar mass spread through the Universe as photons and the rest in a homogenous lump of carbon cooling down.

        Give it enough time and, one way or another (theories differ but all end up at the same place), even that final mass dissolves into a thin soup of photons and the rare particle/antiparticle pair.

        It doesn't get much more disorderly than that.

        (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

        by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:48:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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