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View Diary: Daily Kos POST-Top Kill, Junk Shot, LMRP Diary #24 (315 comments)

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  •  It's All about Increasing Entropy (1+ / 0-)
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    for a rather technical and perhaps intimidatingly mathematical discussion of the physics of dispersion, but with good graphs and illustrations to help, see "The Word on Dispersion."

    If by the process of dispersion we want the particles to dilute as rapidly as possible, we need to somehow accelerate the rate or kinetics of the interactions. This becomes a challenge of changing the fundamental nature of the process, via a homogeneous change, or by introducing additional heterogeneous pathways that provide alternate pathways to faster kinetics. From this perspective, dispersion describes a mechanism to divergently spread-out the rates and dilute the material from its originally concentrated form. One can analogize in terms of a marathon race; the initial concentration of runners at the starting line rapidly disperses or spreads out as the faster runners move to the front and the slower runners drop to the rear. In a typical race, you see nothing homogeneous about the makeup of the runners (apart from their human qualities); the elites, competitive amateurs, and spur-of-the-moment entrants cause the dispersion. Whether we want to achieve a homogeneous dispersion or not, we have to account for the heterogeneous nature of the material. In other words, we rarely deal with pure environments so have to solve for much more than the limited variability we originally imagined. Generalizing from the rather artificial constraints of a marathon race, dispersion in other contexts (such as crystal growth or reservoir growth) results from an increase of disorder as a direct consequence of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics.

    "ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption." -- Justice Kennedy (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010)

    by Limelite on Mon May 31, 2010 at 03:02:29 PM PDT

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