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When entropy increases, a certain amount of energy becomes permanently unavailable to do work. The energy is not lost, but its character is changed, so that some of it can never be converted to doing work—that is, to an organized force acting through a distance. For instance, in the previous example, 933 J less work was done after an increase in entropy of 9.33 J/K occurred in the 4000 J heat transfer from the 600 K reservoir to the 250 K reservoir. It can be shown that the amount of energy that becomes unavailable for work is

W unavail = Δ S T 0 , size 12{W rSub { size 8{"unavail"} } =ΔS cdot T rSub { size 8{0} } } {}

where T 0 size 12{T rSub { size 8{0} } } {} is the lowest temperature utilized. In the previous example,

W unavail = 9 . 33 J/K 100 K = 933 J size 12{W rSub { size 8{"unavail"} } = left (9 "." "33"" J/K" right ) left ("100"" K" right )=9 "." "33"" J"} {}

as found.

Heat death of the universe: an overdose of entropy

In the early, energetic universe, all matter and energy were easily interchangeable and identical in nature. Gravity played a vital role in the young universe. Although it may have seemed disorderly, and therefore, superficially entropic, in fact, there was enormous potential energy available to do work—all the future energy in the universe.

As the universe matured, temperature differences arose, which created more opportunity for work. Stars are hotter than planets, for example, which are warmer than icy asteroids, which are warmer still than the vacuum of the space between them.

Most of these are cooling down from their usually violent births, at which time they were provided with energy of their own—nuclear energy in the case of stars, volcanic energy on Earth and other planets, and so on. Without additional energy input, however, their days are numbered.

As entropy increases, less and less energy in the universe is available to do work. On Earth, we still have great stores of energy such as fossil and nuclear fuels; large-scale temperature differences, which can provide wind energy; geothermal energies due to differences in temperature in Earth’s layers; and tidal energies owing to our abundance of liquid water. As these are used, a certain fraction of the energy they contain can never be converted into doing work. Eventually, all fuels will be exhausted, all temperatures will equalize, and it will be impossible for heat engines to function, or for work to be done.

Entropy increases in a closed system, such as the universe. But in parts of the universe, for instance, in the Solar system, it is not a locally closed system. Energy flows from the Sun to the planets, replenishing Earth’s stores of energy. The Sun will continue to supply us with energy for about another five billion years. We will enjoy direct solar energy, as well as side effects of solar energy, such as wind power and biomass energy from photosynthetic plants. The energy from the Sun will keep our water at the liquid state, and the Moon’s gravitational pull will continue to provide tidal energy. But Earth’s geothermal energy will slowly run down and won’t be replenished.

But in terms of the universe, and the very long-term, very large-scale picture, the entropy of the universe is increasing, and so the availability of energy to do work is constantly decreasing. Eventually, when all stars have died, all forms of potential energy have been utilized, and all temperatures have equalized (depending on the mass of the universe, either at a very high temperature following a universal contraction, or a very low one, just before all activity ceases) there will be no possibility of doing work.

Questions & Answers

what are the calculations of Newton's third law of motiow
Murtala Reply
what is dark matter
apex Reply
(in some cosmological theories) non-luminous material which is postulated to exist in space and which could take either of two forms: weakly interacting particles ( cold dark matter ) or high-energy randomly moving particles created soon after the Big Bang ( hot dark matter ).
if the mass of a trolley is 0.1kg. calculate the weight of plasticine that is needed to compensate friction. (take g=10m/s and u=0.2)
Declan Reply
what is a galaxy
Maduka Reply
what isflow rate of volume
Abcd Reply
flow rate is the volume of fluid which passes per unit time;
flow rate or discharge represnts the flow passing in unit volume per unit time
When two charges q1 and q2 are 6 and 5 coulomb what is ratio of force
Mian Reply
When reducing the mass of a racing bike, the greatest benefit is realized from reducing the mass of the tires and wheel rims. Why does this allow a racer to achieve greater accelerations than would an identical reduction in the mass of the bicycle’s frame?
bimo Reply
is that the answer
why is it proportional
nehemiah Reply
i don't know
what are the relationship between distance and displacement
Usman Reply
They are interchangeable.
Distance is scalar, displacement is vector because it must involve a direction as well as a magnitude. distance is the measurement of where you are and where you were displacement is a measurement of the change in position
Thanks a lot
I'm beginner in physics so I can't reason why v=u+at change to v2=u2+2as and vice versa
what is kinematics
kinematics is study of motion without considering the causes of the motion
The study of motion without considering the cause 0f it
why electrons close to the nucleus have less energy and why do electrons far from the nucleus have more energy
thank you frds
plz what is the third law of thermodynamics
Chidera Reply
third law of thermodynamics states that at 0k the particles will collalse its also known as death of universe it was framed at that time when it waa nt posible to reach 0k but it was proved wrong
I have not try that experiment but I think it will magnet....
Rev Reply
Hey Rev. it will
I do think so, it will
yes it will
If a magnet is in a pool of water, would it be able to have a magnetic field?.
Stella Reply
yes Stella it would
formula for electric current
Chizzy Reply
what is that about pleace
what are you given?
what is current
Current is the flow of electric charge per unit time.
What are semi conductors
materials that allows charge to flow at varying conditions, temperature for instance.
these are materials which have electrical conductivity greater than the insulators but less than metal, in these materials energy band Gap is very narrow as compared to insulators
materials that allows charge to flow at varying conditions, temperature for instance.
wao so awesome
At what point in the oscillation of beam will a body leave it?
what is gravitational force
what is meant by the term law
Fahd Reply
what is physics
Timilehin Reply
it is branch of science that deal with interaction matter and energy is called physics . and physics is based in experiential observation and quentative measurement.
to briefly understand the concept of physics start with history and a brief history of time by Stephen hawkings is what made me have interest in physics
physics is a branch of science which deals with the study of matter, in relation to energy.
physics is a natural science that involve the study of matter and it's motion through space and time, along with related concept such as energy and force
Physics is the science of natural things. for instance, take classical laws which describe the principles of working of the macro realm and then take the quantum laws which describe the quantum realm. It relates everything in this universe –e. g when you see anything, actually photons penetrate.
why do isotopes of the same group undergo the same chemical reactions ?
Practice Key Terms 3

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