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Thermodynamic and differential entropy under a change of variables.
Entropy 2010 Mar; 12(3):578-590
The differential Shannon entropy of information theory can change under a change of variables (coordinates), but the thermodynamic entropy of a physical system must be invariant under such a change. This difference is puzzling, because the Shannon and Gibbs entropies have the same functional form. We show that a canonical change of variables can, indeed, alter the spatial component of the thermodynamic entropy just as it alters the differential Shannon entropy. However, there is also a momentum part of the entropy, which turns out to undergo an equal and opposite change when the coordinates are transformed, so that the total thermodynamic entropy remains invariant. We furthermore show how one may correctly write the change in total entropy for an isothermal physical process in any set of spatial coordinates.
Analytical-methods; Energy-metabolism; Mathematical-models; Standards; Statistical-analysis; Thermodynamic-reactions; Thermodynamics; Author Keywords: thermodynamic entropy; Shannon entropy; spatial entropy; non-Cartesian coordinates; canonical transformation; Jacobian
Vladimir Hnizdo, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV 26505
Issue of Publication
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division