Open AccessThis article is
- freely available
Entropy 2005, 7(1), 68-96; doi:10.3390/e7010068
The meanings of entropy
Received: 19 November 2004; Accepted: 14 February 2005 / Published: 14 February 2005
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Entropy is a basic physical quantity that led to various, and sometimes apparently conflicting interpretations. It has been successively assimilated to different concepts such as disorder and information. In this paper we're going to revisit these conceptions, and establish the three following results: Entropy measures lack of information; it also measures information. These two conceptions are complementary. Entropy measures freedom, and this allows a coherent interpretation of entropy formulas and of experimental facts. To associate entropy and disorder implies defining order as absence of freedom. Disorder or agitation is shown to be more appropriately linked with temperature.
Keywords: entropy; freedom; information; disorder