Entropy

Disorder and chaos

 

Entropy is the amount of disorder in a system. We are used to thinking of the world in terms of order. Take cleaning your bedroom as an example. Your mom (or dad) was probably happiest when your bedroom had all the toys picked up, the bed made, and your clothes either in your closet or in a hamper. This would be a highly ordered system. In contrast, you probably prefered not to make your bed, put away your toys, or hang up your clothes. This would be a highly disordered system.

 

 

messy_room2005.jpg

 

 

Chemical reactions, much like us as children, prefer to have lots of disorder. The messy room chemists would say was high in entropy. Your parents would have prefered it to be low in entropy.

 

 

 

learning activity Scroll your mouse over the samples to see what happens to the randomness as the items are mixed together.
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