Defining Terms: Entropy, Heat Death, and the Cosmological Constant

Cleaning up a few loose ends with some terms that I used in my Cosmological argument post a few days ago.  Boring, I know, but there is a method to my madness.

Cosmological Constant – a constant term used for the rate of expansion of the universe.  It is based on several factors including the relativistic equations for gravity.

Entropy – Entropy has many different definitions depending on what science you are discussing from statistical mechanics, physical chemistry, or classical thermodynamics.  What I was referring to was associated with classical thermodynamics was  the relationship between heat and mechanical energy or work, and the conversion of one into the other.

Heat Death – after entropy has reached its maximum and zero energy is available,  according to the laws of thermodynamics the material universe is apparently winding down and approaching heat death.

A great example  of entropy and heat death is a cup of hot coffee.    After you load all the ingredients in the coffee maker and press the start button  You have the coffee that is kept hot by the heat element under the pot.  The coffee pot is made to keep the heat a constant by using energy from the plug.    If the coffee maker is unplugged or the coffee is poured into a cup entropy will have reached its maximum.  The coffee comes out of the pot hot, but if you leave the cup of coffee, it is no longer being keep at a constant temperature by energy used in the pot.  Without any usable energy the coffee if left alone with slowly lose heat and cool down to the same temperature of the room or environment that it is in.  The coffee has then reached heat death.

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