Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quote of the day: Entropy and physical limits

In terms of entropy, the two most important physical limits are local over-heating due to limited entropy export capacity and the minimum entropy reduction requirement for concentration of very dispersed materials. The first may be a problem for the local environment around power plants and in cities. For the Earth as a whole, the limit on the rate of entropy export is inessential.


Entropy and economic processes — physics perspectives by Tomas Kåberger and Bengt Månsson, Ecological Economics Volume 36, Issue 1, January 2001, Pages 165-179

Isolated systems may face absolute limits and 'collapse' under the weight of increased entropy. Open systems, like the Earth, with external sunlight and dissipating heat to space, does not.

No comments: