Box 13 Working In Biochemistry

Entropy: The Advantages of Being Disorganized

The term "entropy," which literally means "a change within," was first used in 1851 by Rudolf Clausius, one of the formulators of the second law of thermodynamics. A rigorous quantitative definition of entropy involves statistical and probability considerations. However, its nature can be illustrated qualitatively by three simple examples, each demonstrating one aspect of entropy. The key descriptors of entropy are randomness and disorder, manifested in different ways.

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