I’m finally getting around to sharing what, for me, is the most beautiful piece of physics we have yet stumbled upon. This is the physics of the critical point. It doesn’t involve enormous particle accelerators and it’s introduction can border on the mundane. Once the consequences of critical behaviour are understood it becomes truly awe inspiring. First, to get everyone on the same page, I must start with the mundane - please stick with it, there’s a really cool movie at the bottom… Most people are quite familiar with the standard types of phase transition. Water freezes to ice, boils to water vapour and so on.
Posts with the tag physics:
I’ve been meaning to post something interesting about stat-mech about once a fortnight and so far I’m not doing so well. For today I thought I’d share my perspective on entropy. If you ask the (educated) person in the street what entropy is they might say something like “it’s a measure of disorder”. This is not a bad description, although it’s not exactly how I think about it. As a statistical mechanition I tend to think of entropy in a slightly different way to say, my Dad. He’s an engineer and as such he thinks of entropy more in terms of the second law of thermodynamics.