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Chemistry question

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by Eyegirl2007, Oct 13, 2002.

  1. A random chemistry question...

    Since the second law of thermodynamics states that entropy increases, why do chemical molecules seek the lowest state of energy? Isn't that decreased entropy?

    This is just something my nerdly brain came up with during my organic chemistry studying this aft.
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  3. rpames

    rpames Optometrist
    10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I'm not sure if I understand this thing either, but maybe what I say will make you understand. IF this actually helps, please explain it to me.

    The lowest state of energy is a disordered system (right?). And a decrease in entropy of a system leads to order. Therefore as entropy decreases, the energy state increases.

    So as entropy increase, the energy state decresaes. So finally, decreased entropy is not the lowest energy state.

    This may be totally wrong.
  4. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2002
    Likes Received:
    You got it, mostly --> Increased entropy = increased disorder = lower state of energy. It costs energy to place things into order, therefore more disorder = lower energy.
  5. Thanks guys! I knew I was having a brain fart.

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