Physics Tutorial 13.10 - Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

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There are 6 lessons in this physics tutorial covering Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The tutorial starts with an introduction to Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics and is then followed with a list of the separate lessons, the tutorial is designed to be read in order but you can skip to a specific lesson or return to recover a specific physics lesson as required to build your physics knowledge of Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. you can access all the lessons from this tutorial below.

In this Physics tutorial, you will learn:

  • Why the first law of thermodynamics is not sufficient in explaining all thermal-related phenomena?
  • What are reversible and irreversible processes?
  • What is entropy?
  • What are the factors affecting the entropy of a thermodynamic system?
  • What happens to the entropy in the universe during a thermal process?
  • What does the Second Law of Thermodynamics say?
  • What are some equivalent formulations of the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
  • What is the operation principle of heat engines?
  • How to calculate the efficiency of a heat engine?
  • What are Carnot engines and what advantages do they offer compared to the traditional heat engines?
  • Why Carnot engines have no practical applications in daily life?


Imagine you are living alone and one day you wake up late in the morning. You don't have time to clean you room, and you leave the house in total mess. After turning back in the afternoon, you find everything in order. What is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it possible all thing have been fixed automatically without the human interference (for example, the wind blowing through the open window has put everything in order)?

Can you throw a number of pencils up and all pencils line up parallel to each other when they fall on the table? Why?

Which atomic structures do you think are more regular: those with high or low temperature? Why?

All these questions will get answer in this tutorial, which explain things related to the way universe works.

Please select a specific "Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics" lesson from the table below, review the video tutorial, print the revision notes or use the practice question to improve your knowledge of this physics topic.

Thermodynamics Learning Material
Tutorial IDPhysics Tutorial TitleTutorialVideo
13.10Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Lesson IDPhysics Lesson TitleLessonVideo
13.10.1Does the First Law of Thermodynamics Explain Everything about Thermal Processes?
13.10.2Reversible and Irreversible Processes
13.10.3The Meaning of Entropy
13.10.4The Second Law of Thermodynamics
13.10.5Heat Engines
13.10.6Carnot Engine

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  5. Continuing learning thermodynamics - read our next physics tutorial: Temperature. The Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics

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