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Entropy: The Invisible Force That Brings Disorder to the Universe

The entropy law

The second law of thermodynamics, the so-called 'the entropy law', it is said to be one of the most important laws in nature. This law states that entropy, which is a measure of disorder in a closed system, almost always increases in time.

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Entropy: The Invisible Force That Brings Disorder to the Universe

Entropy: The Invisible Force That Brings Disorder to the Universe

https://science.howstuffworks.com/entropy.htm

science.howstuffworks.com

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Key Ideas

The entropy law

The second law of thermodynamics, the so-called 'the entropy law', it is said to be one of the most important laws in nature. This law states that entropy, which is a measure of disorder in a closed system, almost always increases in time.

Estimating the disorder

The entropy law, or the second law of thermodynamics, has as object of study the disorder within a system. The bigger the system and the more the molecules and atoms within, the more the entropy contained.

The confusing nature of entropy

In big lines, entropy can be defined as a measure of disorder of a system. However, nobody can give more details about its nature, as there have been so many definitions of the term throughout the years. All these definitions vary according to the discipline the term is used for.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Entropy and Second Law of Thermodynamics
Entropy and Second Law of Thermodynamics

Entropy is the natural tendency of things to lose order and become less organized. Left to itself, it will always become less structured. Weeds overtake gardens. People age. Sa...

Creating stability and order

This insight - that disorder naturally increases over time but that we can use our effort to create useful types of order that can counteract the pull of entropy - reveals the core purpose of life.

You can pull the weeds in your garden. You can clean your room. But because everything in life naturally turns to disorder, you have to use energy to create stability and order.

Entropy explains many mysteries and experiences

When we consider the human body, the atoms that make up your body could be arranged in nearly any combination and lead to no form of life.

Mathematically speaking, the odds are against your presence. Yet, here you are. It is truly remarkable.

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Insights of Albert Einstein
Insights of Albert Einstein

Many insights of Albert Einstein are now part of popular imagination: black holes, time warps, and wormholes show up in movies and books.

Less famous, but probably the most revolutionary pa...

Some changes don't change anything

The most fundamental aspects of nature stay the same.

For example, Einstein's papers on relativity show that the relationship between energy and mass is invariant, even though energy and mass can take on many different forms.

Even though matter produces energy, the energy-matter content of the universe never changes. Matter and energy are less fundamental than the underlying relationship between them.

Relationships over things

We often think of things as the heart of reality. But most often the relationship is more important, not the stuff.

We may think "stuff" like space and time are unchangeable aspects of nature. In reality, the relationship between space and time stays the same.

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Consciousness And Quantum Physics
Consciousness And Quantum Physics

Understanding consciousness and how it fits in the universe is a perennial puzzle for decades. Some call it the holy grail of science.

Quantum physics is able to describe the atomic and...

The Observer Effect

Modern science is hesitant to talk about consciousness due to it opening a pandora’s box, putting their previously ‘bulletproof’ theories under suspicion.

Quantum Theory had a similar ‘uh oh’ moment when it was found that the behaviour of atomic level particles changes when we (a conscious observer) are looking at it, or not. This is known as the Observer Effect.

Objectivity Vs Consciousness

Physicists argue that objectivity might as well be an illusion, and consciousness has to be put in the picture of its worldview.

The two puzzles of Science, Consciousness and Quantum Mechanics, might as well be closely related, with one arising because of the other.

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Richard Feynman (1918–1988) "The Great Explainer”

He is considered to be one of the most important physicists of all time.

Feynman was brilliant, eloquent, and an exquisitely passionate thinker who stands unequivocally for his...
The Feynman Technique
The Feynman technique for teaching and communication is a mental model (a breakdown of his personal thought process) to convey information using to the point thoughts and simple language.

Feynman started to record and connect the things he did know with those he did not know, resulting in a thorough notebook of subjects that had been disassembled, translated, and recorded.

We can use this same model to learn new concepts.

“In order to talk to each other, we have to have words, and that’s all right. It’s a good idea to try to see the difference, and it’s a good idea to know when we are teaching the tools of sc...

“In order to talk to each other, we have to have words, and that’s all right. It’s a good idea to try to see the difference, and it’s a good idea to know when we are teaching the tools of science, such as words, and when we are teaching science itself.” 

Richard Feynman

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The Half-Life of Facts
The Half-Life of Facts

Facts decay over time. And the time it takes to disprove or replace half of it can be predicted.

Data in medicine become half as relevant in 2-3 years. For exact sciences, 2-4 years.

Half life of facts and compound knowledge

If we want our knowledge to compound, we’ll need to focus on the invariant general principles.

Half-lives show us that if we spend time learning something that changes quickly, we might be wasting our time. 

The Neuroscientist Karl Friston
The Neuroscientist Karl Friston
  • Karl Friston, a neuroscientist, published a radical theory called the ‘Free Energy Principle’ that has the neuroscience field in a tizzy. His papers, published in various journals, are heavil...
The Free Energy Principle

It states that the world is uncertain and full of surprises. Our brain, through perception, beliefs and action are trying to remain stable by minimizing the spikes, triggers and surprises.

We live inside our brains, and each of us has a unique perception of the outside world. Anything we say or document is just our way to explain the world we have lived. It has nothing to do with reality.

The Beautiful Mind
  • Our mind is programmed to sample the world so that the immediate future can be predictable, as a way to survive it with minimum surprises and disruptions, and as a way to conserve energy.
  • Free energy, outside the mind, maybe incomprehensible and even impossible to grasp fully, but our mind filters and curates much of the information and presents it to us in palpable format.
  • Our mind, when seen neurologically, is infinitely vast, much like the universe, which it even resembles visually.

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Denying Your Own Creativity

That’s a self-imposed and self-limiting belief. Stop that.

Creativity is a requirement for problem-solving and we all problem-solve. Acknowledge that you're inherently creative,

Being Afraid Of Being Wrong

We hate being wrong, but mistakes often teach us the most and allow us to innovate.

Think of the pros and cons of trying something and then free yourself to do it. If it doesn't work, take what you learn, and try something else. 

Being Too "Serious"

The persona of the fool allows the truth to be told, without the usual ramifications that might come with speaking against social conventions. Give yourself permission to be a fool and see things for what they really are.

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Gravity And The Forces Of Nature
Gravity And The Forces Of Nature

According to physicists, quantum particles are responsible for three forces of nature:

  • Strong nuclear force.
  • Weak nuclear force.
  • Electromagnetic force.
From Curves To Strings

The ‘curves in space’ theory of gravity is falling out of favour due to the fact that Einstein’s equations seem to work on our solar system but begin to break when we apply the same near a black hole or back in time, during the initial big bang.

String Theory, which conceptualizes that gravity and all other forces are products of tiny vibrating strings, is the prime candidate to replace Einstein’s work.

General Relativity Theory

Einstein's General Theory Of Relativity provides a rock-solid description of gravity, black holes and even the Big Bang, but fails to explain the very ‘singularities’ that signal towards infinity.

The extraordinary force of gravity can be researched with new-age engineering experiments but there is a risk of pushing too far and risking extreme damage by accidentally creating a black hole.

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The Hard Problem of Consciousness
The Hard Problem of Consciousness

Consciousness could be described as the feeling of being inside your head, looking out, or of having a soul.

How we learn, store memories, or perceive things, are easy prob...

Between Science And Philosophy

The problems of consciousness straddle the border between science and philosophy.

  • Some argue that conscious sensations, such as pain, don't really exist, others, that plants and trees must also be conscious.
  • A handful of neuroscientists have come to believe that the problem is about to be solved if we are willing to accept the conclusion that computers or the internet might soon become conscious too.
Ignoring The Problem

Science has been trying to ignore the problem of consciousness for a long time.

  • In the 1600s, René Descartes declared that nothing is more obvious and undeniable than the fact that we are conscious. Your consciousness can't be a fantasy. At the same time, your consciousness does not obey any of the usual rules of science. It doesn't seem to be physical. It can't be observed or really described. Descartes concluded that it had been bequeathed to us by God.
  • This Cartesian dualism remained the assumption into the 18th century. But it was unacceptable to the secular scientist that took the position that only physical things exist.
  • As late as 1989, the British psychologist Stuart Sutherland declared that it is impossible to specify what consciousness is, what it does, or why it evolved.
  • In 1990 Francis Crick and Christof Kock mentioned in a paper that most of the work in both cognitive and neurosciences makes no reference to consciousness because most don't know of a useful way of approaching the problem.

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Teleportation
Teleportation

Teleportation is the idea in which we step into a sort of scanner and instantaneously find ourselves somewhere else.

There are two ways this can'(t) be done: physical deconstruction at x and...

Teleportation is possible in principle

Recently, scientists were able to "teleport" photons to a satellite 300 miles away, using "quantum entanglement." This is where a pair of photons are able to simultaneously share the same state, even when separated by distance. Change the state of one particle, and the other changes too.

Teleportation can have big implications for a new “quantum internet.” It will be faster, more powerful, unhackable. 

Teleporting humans

Scientists are still working out how to teleport photons. Assuming they figure out how to teleport atoms, then molecules, the amount of bits to record and transmit, is unthinkable.

A person is made of an estimated 32 trillion cells. They would require a huge bandwidth and roughly 10th gigawatt-hours of power. Teleporting one person would require using the entire UK power supply for more than a million years and take 4.8 million million years to transfer - that is if you survive the transfer. It would be quicker to walk.

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