Problem: If you put a drop of food coloring in water and watch the drop disperse, is entropy increasing or decreasing?

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the effect of adding food coloring in water on the entropy of the system. 


Recall that entropy is the degree of chaos or disorder of a system and that it depends on the following:


1. Phase: The gas phase has the highest entropy, followed by the liquid, and then the solid phase with the lowest entropy.

Gas > Liquid > Solid

2. Complexity: More elements in the compound leads to higher entropy.

Ex. NO3(g) [4 elements] has higher entropy than NO2(g) [3 elements].


3. Mass: The greater the mass, then the greater the entropy.

Ex. Xe(g) [greater mass] has higher entropy than He(g).


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Problem Details

If you put a drop of food coloring in water and watch the drop disperse, is entropy increasing or decreasing?

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