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Chemistry LibreTexts

10.1: Spontaneous Processes

Entropy is a state function that is often erroneously referred to as the 'state of disorder' of a system. Qualitatively, entropy is simply a measure how much the energy of atoms and molecules become more spread out in a process and can be defined in terms of statistical probabilities of a system or in terms of the other thermodynamic quantities. Entropy is also the subject of the Second and Third laws of thermodynamics, which describe the changes in entropy of the universe with respect to the system and surroundings, and the entropy of substances, respectively.