On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote: > > There seems to be a lot of confusion resulting from > > Shannon’s<http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/ms/what/shannonday/shannon1948.pdf>use > > of the term entropy, and conflating it with thermodynamic entropy. I > maintain that Shannon Entropy™ is closer to the inverse of thermodynamic > entropy than it is a synonym for it. > Physical entropy is a measure of the number of micro-states something can be in without changing its macro-state. A bucket of water can be in many many micro-states and yet the end result of them all would still look and act like a plain old bucket of water. So if you wanted to know the micro-state of that particular bucket over there, if you wanted to know the position and momentum of every water molecule in the bucket it would take a great deal information to distinguish that particular micro-state from the huge number of states that the bucket could be in and still look the same, far more information than DNA has in your body. The bucket has a lot of entropy and a lot of information, although it is information that most humans would consider spectacularly unimportant. If the bucket of water froze the molecules would line up in a regular lattice so the ice bucket would contain less entropy and less information than the water bucket because fewer micro-states could produce the same macro-state; with ice you would be less surprised about where a molecule is and mathematical entropy is a measure of surprise.

That's why if you use a lossless compression program the output tends to look like white noise. White noise has maximum entropy and maximum information density; you could change it in a enormous number of ways and it would still look like white noise. John K Clark -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.