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Entropy 2008, 10(1), 15-18; doi:10.3390/entropy-e10010015

Gibbs’ Paradox and the Definition of Entropy

Physics Department, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Received: 10 December 2007 / Accepted: 14 March 2008 / Published: 20 March 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gibbs Paradox and Its Resolutions)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [118 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]


Gibbs’ Paradox is shown to arise from an incorrect traditional definition of the entropy that has unfortunately become entrenched in physics textbooks. Among its flaws, the traditional definition predicts a violation of the second law of thermodynamics when applied to colloids. By adopting Boltzmann’s definition of the entropy, the violation of the second law is eliminated, the properties of colloids are correctly predicted, and Gibbs’ Paradox vanishes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Gibbs’ Paradox; entropy; extensivity; Boltzmann. Gibbs’ Paradox; entropy; extensivity; Boltzmann.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Swendsen, R.H. Gibbs’ Paradox and the Definition of Entropy. Entropy 2008, 10, 15-18.

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