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# Energy, Entrophy, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and how it relates to the Environment

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Energy, Entrophy, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and how it relates to the Environment

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### Energy, Entrophy, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and how it relates to the Environment

1. 1. Entropy and 2 nd Law of Thermodynamics & its Environmental Impact. Bo Chen COMM 1010
2. 2. What is Entropy <ul><li>A measurement of the degree of randomness of energy in a system. </li></ul><ul><li>The lower the entropy the more ordered and less random it is, and vice versa. </li></ul>High Randomness High Disorder Low Randomness Low Disorder Low Entropy High Entropy Examples: gallon of gas, prepared food, sunlight have low entropy. When these are “used” their entropy increases Mingus, C. (2005, April 15). Two opposing types of order. Retrieved from http://www.everythingforever.com/st_order3.htm
3. 3. What is the 2 nd Law of Thermodynamics Entropy in an isolated system that is not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time until it reaches a maximum equilibrium level If you keep the door open between two adjoining rooms of different temperatures the cooler room will become warmer and the warmer room will cool down until they both reach the same final temperature Hardy, M. (2009, November 18). Second law of thermodynamics. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law_of_thermodynamics
4. 4. No “Free Lunch” All perpetual motion machines violate the law of thermodynamics because efficiency is always lost and entropy always increases in any given process. There is no free or perpetual energy. Ex: Ethanol is a “ net energy sink ” that consumes more energy than it produces because efficiency is lost at each stage of conversion process. Greene, B. (2003). The elegant universe: Superstrings, hidden dimensions, and the quest for the ultimate theory. &quot;City:New York City.&quot; W.W. Norton & Co..
5. 5. The Sun’s role in all of this Our sun's low entropy (high order) source of energy shines down to earth and supplies all plants with power through the process of photosynthesis Except for nuclear and geothermal energy, all other sources of energy are ultimately from the sun Penrose, R. (2007). The road to reality: A complete guide to the laws of the universe. &quot;City: New York City.&quot; Vintage.
6. 6. The Food Chain Pyramid <ul><li>Carnivores eat herbivores to decrease their own entropy - at each higher level of the pyramid exponentially more efficiency is lost. </li></ul><ul><li>Humans are on top of the food chain. We are least efficient and most wasteful. </li></ul><ul><li>Our lifestyle and consumptions are magnified and multiplied throughout the entire ecosystem. </li></ul><- Man keeps lion in zoo, we is #1
7. 7. Paradox Resolved <ul><li>If the 2nd law states that entropy always increases (become less ordered) in every process then what accounts for higher ordered nature of the human body, a clean room, or the structure of civilization? </li></ul><ul><li>In each case the low entropy locally is derived at the expense of increased entropy globally. </li></ul><ul><li>I can clean a room because of the low entropy of food, society can build highways, airports and skyscrapers because it burns petroleum and other low entropy sources of power and thereby increase total entropy in an isolated system (earth) </li></ul>
8. 8. Environment Conclusion <ul><li>We are on top of the “food chain” pyramid & consume disproportionate resources </li></ul><ul><li>Our enjoyment of life ( reduction of local entropy) comes directly at the expense of polluting the environment ( increase of total global entropy) </li></ul><ul><li>There is no “free lunch”. We always pay for our actions - no such thing as free energy or clean energy </li></ul>
9. 9. Environment Conclusion <ul><li>Everything that we do increases entropy and makes our environment worse </li></ul><ul><li>Humans are on top of the pyramid, our actions have largest ripple effects </li></ul><ul><li>The best approach to conserve the environment is to do more with less and practice art of reduction </li></ul>