The practical objective of improving steam engines led to an impressive level of abstract thinking during the development of thermodynamics. In particular, it is remarkable that the significance of entropy, defined in terms of reversible heat flow, was recognised before it had a microscopic interpretation as a measure of the degree of disorder. These lectures will survey some of the ways that the notion of entropy appears in physics, from its origins to current research frontiers.
Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 10:30
Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Clarendon Laboratory