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As Dr. Lavelle explained today in lecture, the sign of entropy depends on the direction of heat flow. If the system loses heat, the entropy will have a negative sign in front of it. If the surroundings gain heat, the entropy will have a positive sign. I hope this helps!
The sign of entropy is indicative of the heat flow in or out of the system. A system in which heat flows out to the surroundings will have a negative entropy whereas a system in which heat flows in from the surroundings will have a positive entropy.
Jack Papciak 2F wrote:How do I know whether the entropy has a "+" or a "-"?
It depends on the the ratio of final to initial temperature, volume, and/or pressure. You can logically think about by analyzing whether the number of microstates is increasing or decreasing, which can give an indication to what the sign should be.
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