TED Conversations

Sean Carroll

theoretical physicist,


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LIVE TED Conversation: Join TED Speaker Sean Carroll

LIVE conversation with cosmologist Sean Carroll, TEDxCaltech Speaker and author of From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time.

The conversation will open at 4pm (Eastern Standard Time), May 19, 2011. Sean is on vacation in Las Vagas, and will join us from his hotel room there to discuss the cosmos, the nature of time, and the science of poker.


Closing Statement from Sean Carroll

Thanks for participating, everyone! I hope some light was shed. It's been a pleasure chatting with the TED community.

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    May 19 2011: Kind of new this entropy idea, has me wondering. In a closed system is entropy a factor? I mean if something is in a state of rest then there is no entropy correct? Being that there are no forces either disruptive or orderly.
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      May 19 2011: There can certainly be entropy in closed systems, or when things aren't changing. The gas in a box in a state of equilibrium has a very well-defined entropy.
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        May 19 2011: So entropy is just the possibility of change with the same outcome? No matter which atom is near which in the box it is still full of the gas. So with extremely high entropy is there instability in the form of atoms, being that the electron and other components can switch around?
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          May 19 2011: Not necessarily; it depends on the physical conditions within the substance. Entropy likes to increase, but energy is conserved at the same time. If it costs energy for electrons to hop around, they will tend to stay put.
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        May 19 2011: Is it that entropy increases with energy then? If that box of gas were frozen then there would be less entropy? Or would the entropy be the same because there is the same amount of atoms? So does volume play a factor in entropy?

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