0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
JpetruccelliYou state that no amount of shuffling will put a pack of cards back in order surely this is not correct the number of shuffles required is no doubt large but I am sure that anyone skilled in the art of statistics could calculate the number.
You're right. I shouldn't have said "no amount." The same technically holds for the second law of thermodynamics. It's just so improbable that entropy increases in a large system that for most purposes it never decreases in a closed system. You could spontaneously have the heat in a room transfer into a cup of coffee so that it begins to boil, but we'll never see it happen since its so improbable.
I have problems with defining entropy in terms of order because order is subjective.I think the problem may be best illustrated with reference to paintings. If we compare a finished painting, let's say the Mona Lisa, with the bare canvas and unmixed pigments and oils used to create the painting, which form would have the highest degree of order?Let's now think of one of Jackson Pollack's splatter paintings and then imagine that an art forger makes a perfect replica of one of them. The original work by Pollack would have started with cans of paint and a blank canvas, and then incorporated varying degrees of randomness in the creation of the work, so it could be argued that the final work was less ordered and had less entropy than the bare canvas and cans of paint. However, when the art forger makes his perfect copy of the painting, using exactly the same materials, there is no randomness as the paint has to be applied precisely. It seems to me then, that while the original work might be less ordered than the canvas and paint from which it is made, the perfect copy is more ordered. Yet if both the original and the forgery are identical, how can they have different degrees of order?