olegt
Posts: 1405 Joined: Dec. 2006

Liz,
I am experiencing a technical problem with comments. For example, WordPress won't let me post this fairly innocuous reply on the thread about the 2nd law. I preserve the WordPress formatting. Quote  I'd like to discuss this excerpt from Sewell's ENV piece: <blockquote>There are some problems, however. While one can certainly define a "poker entropy" as S_p = k_p log (W) and have a nice formula for entropy which increases when probability increases, why should the constant k_p used be equal to the Boltzmann constant k_B? In fact, it is not clear why poker entropy should have units of Joules/degree Kelvin. In the case of thermal entropy, the constant is chosen so that the statistical definition of thermal entropy agrees with the standard macroscopic definition. But there is no standard definition for poker entropy to match, so the constant k_p can be chosen arbitrarily. If we do arbitrarily set k_p = k_B, so that the units match, <strong>it still does not make any sense to add poker entropy and thermal entropy changes to see if the result is positive or not. It is not clear how the fact that thermal entropy is increasing in the rest of the universe makes it easier to get a highly improbable poker hand.</strong> Of course, all these problems also exist with respect to Styer and Bunn's analyses of the entropy associated with evolution; at least with poker entropy we don't have to take wild guesses at the probabilities involved. </blockquote> The confusion over the units, while funny, is a minor problem. It's the highlighted two sentences that are most interesting.

On a related note, could you add a thread opening privilege for me as well?
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