Some things happen naturally, while others don’t. Decomposition is natural, while production takes work. While water flows spontaneously from top to bottom, a pump is required to flow water upwards. While a forest can burn with a spark, it must receive a lot of continuous energy from the sun for the forest to exist. So what determines the direction of these natural events?
According to the first law of thermodynamics, it explains that if there is a reaction in a universe that contains the system and the environment, the total energy will not change. But the first law cannot answer every question. Why do some events tend to occur spontaneously, while others do not? Why can’t everything happen?
Spontaneous change is a change that tends to occur without the need for an external influence. A metal that is hot relative to its surroundings, heat loss occurs spontaneously. But the reverse is impossible to happen spontaneously.
Let’s examine the metal block, which is hotter than its surroundings, at the molecular level. The high-energy fast-moving metal atoms collide with the lower-energy slower-moving atoms around them and release their energy. In this case, high-energy metal atoms lose their own speed, while low-energy slow atoms gain speed. At this point they reach equilibrium. Otherwise, if the low-energy atoms gave their energy to the high-energy metal atoms, the metal atoms would speed up and the other atoms would slow down even more. In this case, there would be no balance. The desire of metal atoms to simultaneously energize low-energy atoms is not a random act. The pattern that is beginning to emerge shows that energy and matter tend to be unevenly distributed.
Thermodynamically, entropy, which is a measure of disorder is expressed with ‘S’. Low entropy means high disorder and high disorder means high disorder.
Talking about entropy will give us a different perspective on the zeroth and first laws of thermodynamics. You can take a look at these laws here and leave a comment below or even discuss your thoughts on entropy…