The world today is fascinating, nobody even a decade ago would have predicted how far the world would have come in every way from technology, population and intelligence per capita. As many go about their daily lives one day at a time, many take for granted the way society has the privilege to live their daily lives with ease, compared to past generations. The reason why the term ‘ease’ is used to describe the difference between the current generation and past generations is because, for the last one-hundred years engineers, scientist and many other extremely intelligent individuals/groups of people have dedicated their lives work into researching and developing ways and incorporating procedures to help humans. The most important resource engineers and scientists have developed over the last many decades is the way in which society can use power, and more specifically the way we produce, use and dispose of this power.
Power is a term that is widely used, it can be used in multiple contexts and in many types of different scenarios. Yet, in scientific terms power revolves around three distinct terms, and those are entropy, energy and work. The definition of energy is important to understand in the context being used because many have their own ideology of what energy really is however; in terms of physics the definition of energy is “power generated from physical and or chemical resources to provide light, heat and or to power machines.” (Dictionary.com). The power generated from these sources come from the work done by external sources. Work is the amount of energy transferred when an object is moved by another object other than itself, and according to the website Brittanica.com work can be generated in many forms such as compressing a gas or simply by rotating a shaft around an axle. Finally, the most important term surrounding work and energy is called entropy. Entropy is extremely important and often overlooked by many because it is an indicator of how much energy is available to do work, entropy can also be better described as the measure of disorder of the energy.
Entropy is a very important term in the fields of chemistry and physics, the definition of Entropy according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “The measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system.” This definition is usually misunderstood by many as entropy is a very difficult subject to grasp due to the complexity of both subject’s physics and chemistry. To better understand the term entropy, knowledge of how the term originated is important to grasp. Entropy first began to be used by engineers and scientists in the early 1900’s when heat engines first began being developed around the globe and especially in the United States of America. Calculating the efficiency of the engines being produced was desired by the engineers and scientists developing these heat engines, but in order to make this happen scientists and engineers looked further into the subject of thermodynamics and began to develop laws that if followed properly would give results of where energy was being lost. Scientists concluded that in order to accurately calculate the entropy of a system the three laws of thermodynamics must be familiarized and followed. The first law of thermodynamics stresses the conservation of energy, this means that it is impossible to create energy or destroy energy it is only possible to convert energy from one state to another. The second law of thermodynamics relates most closely with entropy and stresses the directions that chemical reactions can happen in, to grasp a better understanding an oven can be visualized and when the oven is closed, and the heat is turned off, it is impossible for the system to heat up without additional energy (heat) being added to the existing system. Finally, the third law of thermodynamics relates to absolute values, and considers that it is impossible for the entropy in a system to drop below zero.
With the laws of Thermodynamics and how they relate to entropy described, the stresses of how important the accurate calculations of entropy in the systems that surround planet earth are important to address.