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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

On Entropy as the purpose of life:


From Brian Cox's "Why does E=mc^2?", the book I'm currently reading (much enjoy):

"So ponderous is the conversion of protons into neutrons that, "kilogram for kilogram," the sun is several thousand times less efficient than the human body at converting mass to energy. One kilogram of the sun generates only 1/5,000 of a watt of power on average, whereas the human body typically generates somewhat more than 1 watt per kilogram."

I'd always assumed that stars were maximal entropy machines - and well, I suppose they are for massive bodies made primarily of hydrogen and helium - but it takes all of the complex atoms that stars create as a byproduct to produce a maximal entropy machine which is thousands of times more efficient.

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