Have you ever wondered what happens to the heat the iron generates, the sound of words we speak, the songs we sing or the noise we make when we clap or beat a drum? I found answers in Entropy.
These posts are not about the science of Entropy. To learn what Entropy is, you might want to start with the Wikipedia article. The texts I have cited are also useful.
Entropy is a physical property of a substance such as pressure, density, heat capacity, etc. Entropy is dependent on temperature, pressure and phase. Entropy is often presented as a measure of disorder or randomness of a system. However, Entropy has two major attributes: Irreversibility and Disorder. I thought of presenting a series of posts in layman’s terms about Entropy explaining my views from the perspectives of Irreversibility and Disorder.
Finding Lost Energy
We know that energy is conserved. The electric iron we use to iron our clothes convert electricity to heat energy. I have often wondered what happens to the heat energy that the iron generates? If energy is conserved, what happened to the heat the clothes absorbed during ironing? Where did it go?
Disorder is an attribute Entropy is commonly associated with. Metaphorically, an organized bookshelf getting messy and disorganized can be thought to be increasing the Entropy of the bookshelf. Because when the bookshelf was organized, finding a book is easy and predictable. But if the bookshelf is disorganized, the chance or the probability of not finding a book is much higher. Thus, when a bookshelf is moved from being organized to being disorganized, it generates Entropy.