Second Law of Thermodynamics  [ENDORSED]

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Luis De La Cruz 1H
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Second Law of Thermodynamics

Postby Luis De La Cruz 1H » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:31 am

Why is it that humans (being the system), who seemingly grow more "ordered" over time, don't violate the second law of thermodynamics which states that things will always tend to increase in more "disorder" until reaching equilibrium?

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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:00 am

Re: Second Law of Thermodynamics  [ENDORSED]

Postby RyanS2J » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:42 am

Though organisms such as humans have grown and do grow more ordered over time, they only do so at the expense of other reactions that generate more entropy to compensate for and override the entropy decrease that accompanies the building of complex molecules and structures. Cellular respiration to generate ATP and large quantities of heat energy (released into the atmosphere) is a good example of one such reaction. The production of ATP is coupled to the production of complex molecules (since ATP is essential for such a process), so the overall entropy of the universe stays increasing.

Magdalena Palavecino 1A
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

Re: Second Law of Thermodynamics

Postby Magdalena Palavecino 1A » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:40 pm

So according to the law, disorder increases until equilibrium is reached? So disorder does not always increase?

Leah Savage 2F
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

Re: Second Law of Thermodynamics

Postby Leah Savage 2F » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:23 pm

I believe that the entropy of an isolated system would reach a maximum at equilibrium, because there wouldn't be any more huge net changes. However, if the system is not isolated (for example if heat can be transferred from the system to the surroundings), the entropy of the system at equilibrium does not need to be at the maximum. If heat leaves the system, that heat increases the entropy of the surroundings. After it reaches equilibrium, the reaction is still occurring.

Timothy Kim 1B
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Re: Second Law of Thermodynamics

Postby Timothy Kim 1B » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:51 pm

Entropy can still increase in these instances.
For instance, even when the entropy of an anabolic reaction decreases, there is still heat released to the surroundings, thus increasing the entropy change.

Kaelie Blanes-Ronda 2L
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Re: Second Law of Thermodynamics

Postby Kaelie Blanes-Ronda 2L » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:06 pm

It is true that human bodies are highly ordered but we give of heat, the food we consume becomes energy or becomes waste, your cells are constantly dying and multiplying which are all properties that increase the disorder in the world. An example that would help with the disorder aspect of humans is that evolution was made possible through the passing of genes that became mutated at a greater rate the further the generation at the time was from the ancestor.

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