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Entropy 2010, 12(3), 490-515; doi:10.3390/e12030490

Different Senses of Entropy—Implications for Education

Swedish National Graduate School in Science and Technology Education, Linköping University, S-601 74 Norrköping, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 January 2010 / Accepted: 10 March 2010 / Published: 12 March 2010
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A challenge in the teaching of entropy is that the word has several different senses, which may provide an obstacle for communication. This study identifies five distinct senses of the word ‘entropy’, using the Principled Polysemy approach from the field of linguistics. A semantic network is developed of how the senses are related, using text excerpts from dictionaries, text books and text corpora. Educational challenges such as the existence of several formal senses of entropy and the intermediary position of entropy as disorder along the formal/non-formal scale are presented using a two-Dimensional Semiotic/semantic Analysing Schema (2-D SAS).
Keywords: science education; thermodynamics; entropy; semantics; cognitive linguistics; polysemy science education; thermodynamics; entropy; semantics; cognitive linguistics; polysemy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Haglund, J.; Jeppsson, F.; Strömdahl, H. Different Senses of Entropy—Implications for Education. Entropy 2010, 12, 490-515.

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