User talk:FrankLambert

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Hello, FrankLambert, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and someone will show up shortly to answer your questions. Again, welcome! 

Comment 1[edit]

FL, could you please be a little more careful with your edits. I think you deleted, and then partially reinserted some of my previous comments on talk:Entropy. Also, you seem to have inadvertently created an extra user page at User:Frank_Lambert. Thanks. Nonsuch 04:25, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Please note that adding links from articles to your own websites is generally considered inappropriate. Wikipedia:External_links#Links_to_normally_avoid #1. Nonsuch 22:13, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

The links that I gave in Wikipedia articles or discussions are to my three peer-reviewed and published ARTICLES for which I have permission to place on my "" [1]. Those three articles have literally caused a revolution in first year university texts within 5-6 years: deleting illustrations of shuffled cards and messy desks as illustrations of entropy increase from all but one text of the 20 or so having such erroneous depictions in 1999, deleting the definition of entropy as "disorder" in about 15 of the new editions of texts published after about 2003, using the definition for entropy as a measure of the dispersal of molecular motional energy/T in such new editions. Does that record compare with the personally sponsored web sites that you "GENERALLY" see users citing? FrankLambert 05:10, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia and to Science on Wiki[edit]

Dr. Lambert, thank you for your kind words on my talk page - they were indeed placed correctly, as talk pages on Wiki are where discussions or comments for users and articles generally go. First, I would like to say that I greatly respect your support of public science education, and in particular your public science outreach projects in applied chemistry and physics such as your Entropy websites. And I would like to stress, as you commented on my talk page, that it is not your many years of work and accomplishments in chemistry that compel me to make these comments (although such accomplishments I do admire greatly and I give you your due respect). Rather, what compels me to applaud your efforts is your appreciation of the fundamental concepts of science, presented as interesting and understandable as possible for a wide audience from the general public to natural science and applied mathematics majors and scientists themselves. In this vein, I am doing my best to improve the quality of science articles here on Wiki, as are dozens of other scientists and science-enthusiasts who are active on Wiki every day. I welcome you to Wikipedia and I look forward to your contributions. I have followed you for years and as I am a young scientist myself - having just finished years of graduate studies in physics and the beginning of a career in applied physics for DoE in the US - I look forward to any experience or wisdom you may have. Best Wishes, Astrobayes 09:01, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

A plea[edit]


Just a note, its much easier to find your comment if you do it at the bottom of the talk page : ) . I'll take a look at entropy. Fresheneesz 04:15, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

One thing i've noticed about your edits is that you tend to be the "long and blunt" type of writer. I would attempt to tone that down a bit - simply because it helps your argument, and it helps keep the debate from exploding. Please be courtious as some of your stuff could be considered personal attacks. People are far more prone to trust a calm person than one who attacks them. Fresheneesz 04:25, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, after looking over the discussions, I find your posts a bit long. Personally, I would appreciate if I could read everyones response in under a minute. Fresheneesz 04:35, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
It is important to contribute concise edits - and to refrain from lengthy personal diatribes on talk pages, but to plead with an author that any given section in an article on a fundamental law of physical science - or the related discussion of such a section on that science article's talk page - be readable in under a minute is more than a bit unkind and is with many physical phenomena strictly impossible. Entropy is one of those, so please go easy on F. Lambert. He arrived on the scene some months ago to improve the Entropy article and was summarily attacked for his professional scientific view of Entropy by several individuals who were at the time unwilling to entertain such edits to the article (which consequently is the reason I have backed off of this article for months). Cheers, Astrobayes 20:42, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Talk page etiquette[edit]

FL, I see that you are new here; thus, I will give you a few pointers. First, please do not break-up another person's discussion paragraph on talk pages. If you want to comment on what they have said, simply indent after their section using the colon (:) mark, and then comment following their remarks. The Talk:entropy page is presently very hard to follow with the debate broken up. Also, keep a level head; I see a lot of person attack in your writings. Everyone is here for fun. Thanks:--Sadi Carnot 22:22, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

THANKS: Sadi, you are not only kind, but extremely skillful in organizing this "Entropy" -- and undoubtedly other -- pages. (I glanced at Wikipedia "Entropy" a few months ago, and, unfortunately punching the Print key too quickly before scanning it all, had to toss the Godawful mess in the trash, hot from the printer! But YOU (I found, now that I've spent some time on Wiki) are responsible for making it all organized, as well for as cutting the far too long gabfest to be an Archive! Good work.
Thx, for the suggestion re not breaking up paragraphs... I did it because this group is remarkable, in my very long experience with scientists (but not with Internet talk), for its failure to read responses to their (dumb!) statements and carry on a high-level argument. In this last shuffled-card case, it's vital to cut in to show exactly where the problem lies. But I'll try to hold back -- (and then have to write 10 lines instead of 2!) But I won't in the future.
Just one major point of disagreement (and I'm not opposing YOUR viewpoint for YOU), just that I'm not here for fun. I'm here to help the kids, bright or dumb -- that's been anmd IS my life. They'd be KILLED by the crap that is floating on Entropy and all the related info "entropy" that they might run in to. They have no idea of how irrelevant it is to 'Honest to God' thermo entropy which they're now struggling with -- and desperately reaching out even to Wiki for help -- but then doubt, fear, and confusion are planted in their overloaded minds.
It's just a game for the young to middle info guys in the Talk/Entropy, and for you. (I'm harsh on these egocentrists because they are so hidebound in absolute obedience to what THEY were taught. No sense of the blinders they have on. No willingness even to evaluate the entropy revolution in chemistry in the past five years, very literally a new era.) It's fighting for kids' mental stability in the midst of entropy, to me. :-) FrankLambert 18:03, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, thank you for the show of support. That entropy talk page was getting to be long-winded and broken up in too many places. I prefer to keep things organized at all costs. As to cutting to the point in someone’s discussion, simply refer to their specific point briefly, e.g. “when you say this and that”, etc., and then go on with your rebuttal. What I mean to imply by the word fun, is that we need to keep the intellectual building process, of the encyclopedia, in a fun tone of interaction. If you find yourself getting too heated up in a discussion, simply pull away for a couple of days (or weeks) to clear it out of your system.
Also, seeing that you are so into the study of entropy; presently I am researching and reading all of the pre-1867 ideas on entropy, i.e. the origins of entropy before it was actually codified as an actual mathematical expression. If you know of any good books (or articles) in this area, let me know. Thanks: --Sadi Carnot 18:27, 8 July 2006 (UTC)


Glad you found the Clausius quote useful. (I wanted the exact words -- and his drive to connect ENtropy with ENergy -- for the benefit of those who are such devout believers in the identity of thermo entropy and info "entropy"! Even though they never will look at the data...:-))

I didn't respond about 'good books in the origins of entropy' before Clausius, because my main historical delving was in Boltzmann -- although it WAS the paper of Kelvin about the 'dissipation of energy' that really got me thinking "why didn't Clausius talk about that...wasn't that really what his q was doing in every case of a spontaneous process??' And from that in a year or so (!) came my conclusion that entropy WAS really all about energy dispersal PLUS Clausius brilliant idea that [I don't know if he ever said it this way, but that's why it's so great] dividing the energy involved by T gives you an idea of the intensity/concentration of the energy in any system. THEN, you know -- as I showed in that little analysis of ice melting in a warm room -- that the same amount of heat, q, FROM a higher temp surroundings is LESS of an entropy DECREASE, than the tsfr. TO a lower temp system is an entropy INCREASE. Hotter goes to cooler...same amt. of energy...but because of the 'intensity' factor, a greater NET entropy increase in the combo of hotter and cooler. Always.

And THAT'S why the old mantras are true --but SO obscure to a young reader )"Entropy is always increasing toward a maximum" Yeah, yeah, yeah -- but what does that MEAN??? It simply means that every process or reaction that is spontaneous spreads out energy --absolutely properly describable to lesser ability students OR hotshots as energy dispersing in 3-D space -- and it is because that's ALWAYS hotter system decrease in entropy to (greater) entropy increase in the's a net overall increase in entropy! Entropy increases in every spont. occurrence...

Oops! Forgive me for trickling on, but I get excited by how simple entropy really is -- IN INITIAL SIMPLE SYSTEMS (I don't deny enormous complexity after the 2nd year of chem, but that level of complexity shouldn't be brought down to smother beginners!)

So that Kelvin "Kin Theo of the Dissipation of Energy" -- of 1875, not before 1865, is really an inspiration of my life but it isn't earlier than Clausius. Buy a copy of Laidler's "The World of Physical Chemistry" for lots of stuff in any area of phys chem. He gave me SO many leads to ideas, and actual refs to original papers.

I really wish you hadn't mounted that 'ice melting' IN the body of the article. Could you delete it from there and also your comment that you had done it - on the Talk/Discussion page? You see, my expectation was that it would be somehow close to the illustration, maybe in a box with the picture, right at the beginning of the article -- so chem students could see it and be reinforced or instructed for the first time as to why 'hotter to cooler' is always the way things happen...and predicted from entropy change in hotter vs. cooler.

Sure, the info 'entropy' guys may hate it and try to kill it, but I'd appreciate either your putting it back only to the Talk/Discussion page or (best) mounting it somehow in a box with or near the photo. Thx, Sadi. FrankLambert 04:50, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I’ve only read some of Kelvin’s 1850 articles. I would like to get his 1875 article. Regarding entropy, however, I know Clausius’ memoirs are hard to find, but I feel the best way to understand entropy is to start with the source, i.e. Clausius. I was reading his book for about four hours yesterday, and I fairly certain that he didn’t use the word “dispersal”; and for that matter, he was very tentative about using the word “energy”. In his 1864 appendix to the 6th memoir, he makes the assignment U = interior heat of body; and then states that since Helmholtz and Regnault have begun to use this term in association with the energy of the body that from here forward he will use the assignment U = energy of body. In all other cases he still speaks of types of heat, types of work, and the vis viva, and occasionally caloric. Talk later: --Sadi Carnot 12:29, 11 July 2006 (UTC)


I just tuned in -- to the Entropy page first, and then to the Talk/Entropy. 1. Re the ice melting illustration. You tried well to adapt my use of the title to a section, BUT !! your excellent reference to THERMODYNAMIC SYSTEM (that I'd never seen before) totally screws up my gentle introduction of laypeople and beginners to 'surroundings plus system'!! (I saved it until the end and left the room undefined as 'surroundings' -- just as a separate entity.) SOOO, I'm going to change it to begin with room as surroundings and then, when introducing the glass-ice-water as system tie to the really elegant and correct (for a change, compared to the Entropy site, in my opinion!) 'Thermodynamic System'. (Wanted to explain to you first, why I changed stuff.)

2.Look at that comment from the beginner Souza (?) -- I KNOW beginners and how to teach them:-)!!! -- he doesn't want SEPARATION or jumping around...That's why I would so vastly appreciate the illustration to be directly beside the explanation :-) No separation. Instant answer to a doubt in their mind. (And repetition, repetition, repetition -- I'm not trying to toot my own horn; dont' have to; it's being tooted by dozens of important leaders in chem (but the members of this group are just not awake or changeable :-) FrankLambert 20:46, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Frank, I added an image and modified the paragraph as you suggested. Also, if you are interested, today I added the original Clausius 1854 mathematical statement of entropy to the article. Lastly, a couple of quick comments or helpful tips for you:
First, when editing at Wikipedia we all have to follow certain rules. In your case, you are going to be biased in that you will probably want to add your “energy dispersal” theories to the entropy article, but this action would conflict with the no original research policy at WP. The only way around this for you is to cite credible sources, i.e. books and textbooks preferably, backing whatever theory or idea by showing that it is commonly used by other writers and researchers.
Second, I note from your websites that you like to water down concepts. There’s nothing wrong with this for many non-science majors and such, but WP articles need to be solid and rigorous; clarification, examples, and elaboration are fine, but we still need to write tight very correct articles, being factual to the tee. I get the idea, however, that you want to start an article or write up sections called Entropy (for beginners). I don’t know of any other WP science articles like this?
Thermodynamics is a very hard-core subject. Typical thermodynamics calculations may take some 5-10 pages worth of mathematical derivation, starting from scratch. We can't just assume that everyone is a novice. P.S. I ordered the book you recommended. Also, how can I get a copy of the 1875 Kelvin paper? Talk later:--Sadi Carnot 11:57, 11 July 2006 (UTC)



I am a 2nd year chemistry professor; I taught general chem this year, and went through this with some of this with my colleagues, some of which still have not been convinced that entropy and disorder are not equatable. I read some of your articles, and they were very useful.

I appreciate your thanks--I sorta got involved before in the entropy discussions, but then got out of for a while (because I was busy in my first year teaching!!!). Keep up the good work--I will point out that disorder may keep coming back in; that's the problem with a free-flowing, editable-by-anyone system. Olin 20:28, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

3RR Warning[edit]

You are in danger of violating the three-revert rule on a page. Please cease further reverts or you may be blocked from further editing. Nonsuch 00:33, 18 July 2006 (UTC)


Thank-you for your message, which was all the more welcome as I don't necessarily agree with many of your positions!

I am relieved to see that you are including the statistical definition (per Boltzmann) when you refer to "thermodynamic entropy". To avoid confusion, I should define my terminology: when I speak of "thermodynamic entropy" I am referring only to the Clausius definition; I am using the term "statistical entropy" to refer solely to the Boltzmann definition, not to Shannon or other pseudoentropies. The two definitions are generally considered to refer to the same physical quantity, even if this has not yet been mathematically demonstrated (I will read your seminar when I get the chance, but I doubt that these ideas have a place on WP at the moment).

The description of entropy that you hint at in your message is radically different from my own. I have always considered thermodynamic entropy and statistical entropy to be equivalent in the same way that the wave and particle descriptions of an electron are equivalent: each is complete on its own, but any demonstration must be valid in both models. Let us not forget that wave-particle duality cannot be "proved" mathematically, but it works! Similarly for statistical-thermodynamic duality...

I think your proposals would make a fine lecture course for U.S. undergrads if delivered by a consciencious teacher, but I am not sure that it is the correct approach for an encyclopedia article. The structure of a university program is essentially linear, whereas Wikipedia works on a pyramidal hierarchy. We have approx. 32k of plain text in which to provide an overview which is as complete as possible in its coverage but cannot (for reasons of space) be particularly profound. The result will probably be something like Chemical bond/Temp (copyediting etc. still in progress, feel free to contribute!). In short, WP is not a textbook, but can be a useful reference work.

I am still very wary of the melting ice example, as it appears to assume more knowledge than it actually imparts. Why is the entropy of liquid water greater than that of ice? At the simplest level, you can simply say that the entropy of the liquid phase is always greater than the entropy of the solid phase—this is an approach I use with French students, who are generally very weak in statistics—but you haven't actually said that yet! If you told me to teach your course to U.S. undergrads (my rates are very reasonable :), I would put a glass of iced water on my desk with a display thermometer in it, to show that the temperature stays at 0 °C while there is still ice present, then rises: we assume that the rate of heat transfer to the system is roughly constant (because they haven't done Fick's Laws yet), so the system is absorbing heat without its temperature rising... Now try to explain the same concept without an experiment... This risk is that one ends up saying "Ice melts because of entropy", which says strictly nothing at all about the nature of entropy! (see the essay by Richard Feynman for a much more eloquant critique of this type of "non-statement")

I have seen at least as many manners of presenting entropy as I have national education systems (a lot), so I am not dogmatic on the question. For example, my task in Catalonia this summer is to get them to the efficiency equation as quickly and as painlessly as possible, then stop! God only knows why environmental scientists have to know the efficiency equation, but don't blame me, I didn't write the course! Actually there is a theory in evolutionary biology which explains warm-bloodedness in terms of thermodynamic efficiency—I don't believe it, but maybe some zoologist at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona wants to teach it... This is actually another example of entropy being "trendy" and introduced into places where it really isn't needed: there are plenty of explanations for warm-bloodedness which don't involve entropy and which would exert greater evolutionary pressures than the thermodynamic efficiency, hence slashed with Ocham's razor.

I can understand your frustration at the "Information entropists", but you shouldn't let it get in the way of other article improvements. In the best traditions of WP:chem, I shall offer a free beer (transport from Catalonia not included :) to the user who can cite the example in which "information entropy" can be shown to be equivalent to thermodynamic entropy—the example exists, and is quite famous, but I would be (pleasantly) surprised if our pet information theorists have ever heard of it...

A "bog-standard" layout for an article on entropy would be

  • Lead section
  • History
  • Thermodynamic (ie Clausius) definition
  • Second Law
  • Statistical (ie Boltzmann) definition
  • Third Law
  • Other uses of the word "entropy"

There is already plenty to do to write the four central sections, but it would not be too difficult to improve on the current state of the article on these points. "Perfection is the enemy of the good", and I feel that in this case it is certainly the enemy of improvement. On a similar note, it would be nice if we could shunt the philosophical speculation into a Philosophy of entropy article (or why not Entropy of philosophy, while we're at it, S(philosophical problem) =kBln(number of linguistically conceivable responses), which is believed to be equivalent to the amount of heat dissipated in discussing the problem without work being performed, philosophers tend towards problems of the greatest entropy): I'm not optimistic on that one though.

Best wishes, and good luck in trying to get one over von Neumann! In the meantime, I will go and fetch a beer from my machine-to-reduce-entropy... Physchim62 (talk) 14:39, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

But when you retreive the beer, won't you have increased entropy? ;) •Jim62sch• 19:35, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Entropy part 2[edit]

I read your piece on Talk.Origins [2] and found it to be excellent. I've bookmarked it so that my younger kids can use it when they learn about thermodynamics. (It'll avoid some of the "well, your teacher is wrong" arguments, because I'll at least have a comprehensive and comprehensible citation to which to refer them.)
In any case, I think it's rather a shame that entropy has been hijacked by other discipines and thus been misused (ill-used?). As you noted, it really isn't a difficult concept -- it seems to me people simply make it more difficult than it is, in many cases intentionally.
Good luck on the entropy page, I'm not so sure that people will be able to (or even want to) disabuse themselves of the notion that entropy = disorder. I left a comment on the page, for all the good it will do. •Jim62sch• 19:35, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply -- it shows that my AP Chem teacher must've been pretty good. :) You are correct, I'm not a scientist, but my reading list is, and always has been, populated by science books (lately The Fabric of the Cosmos, Parallel Worlds, Carl Sagan's diatribe against scientific illiteracy, The Demon-Haunted World, and The Blind Watchmaker. So, in other words, I love science and have always found a great fascination with all things scientific. Which is, of course, why my major was poli sci, and why I'm an IT manager.  ;)
In any case, I agree with you (and with Sagan) that a good part of the reason Americans are so scientifically deficient is because they are not taught properly (of course, there's also a socio-economic cause in that sports pay a lot better than science, but I digress). But, even among scientists I've seen problems: Michio Kaku, who is a rather brilliant physicist, treats entropy as "chaos, or disorder" in Parallel Worlds (yes, it irritated me a bit and led to a few moments of talking to the book, "no it isn't damnit, no it isn't"). But, I ran into a similar problem with Briane Greene who showed two particles knocked off of an atom spinning the same way (Me: no, no, no, they spin the opposite direction) for three pages. At the bottom of the third page he explains he illustrated it this way because it would be easier than explaining that they spin in opposite ditrections. Aaaarrgggh.
Anyway, keep trying on the entropy article...I'll drop by today and see where the article is at -- I hate to say this, though, it's a long road!

Frank, I added the following at the Entropy article -- feel free to comment. Thanks •Jim62sch• 16:29, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

==Move== Given this edit by Sadi Carnot (which is a valid edit, btw) I propose we move this article (i.e., renasme) to "Entropy (thermodynamics)" and remove anything unrelated to thermodynamics as the other uses are not in keeping with the thermodynamic meaning of entropy, and as they have their own articles. •Jim62sch• 16:29, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Whnat really is entrophyh?

The paradoxical Mr Gibbs[edit]

At Talk:Entropy#Increase of entropy is not necessarily dispersal of energy I've made the point that your easier to understand visualisation of entropy should be included, if only because WP:NPOV requires proportionate explanation of notable viewpoints. Having had the Mixing paradox thrown in I'm rather out of my depth and would appreciate more authoritative answers if possible. Mind you, I've just noticed the Gibbs's resolution subsection which suggests the answer that if the gases have no (thermodynamically) measurable difference, then there's no change in entropy. Still leaves me puzzled by the Entropy of mixing concept. ...dave souza, talk 20:26, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your response, look forward to the info. I've commented on my talk page. ...dave souza, talk 17:09, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Re: Spontaneous entropy increase always involves the dispersal of energy
Thank you! It's been so frustrating of late trying to get the concept across to some of the editors. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge. •Jim62sch• 01:48, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

thanks for the list of works[edit]

I don't think anyone is questioning your credentials specifically; only whether or not this way of teaching entropy is notable enough for inclusion and whether that ought to be in the main entropy article or a subarticle. I will look in more detail later (though I will say that the only book on your list I have on hand is Oxtoby, Gillis, and Nachtrieb, which does not use this concept in a form that I recognize as the same). The nomination of the entropy (energy dispersal) article for deletion is starting to look a bit fishy; at this point I think AfD is no longer the appropriate place for this discussion - I'll update my "vote" to that effect. Thanks. Opabinia regalis 05:25, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Adding my two cents - it appears Sadi is on a campagin, and while this may be tedious and sometimes insulting please be patient with Wikipedia - editing where anyone can edit can be an excecise in patience, as I'm sure you've noticed by now. You may be heartened to know that Sadi's campaign has now become so obvious it is attracting attention and he has been warned. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist you - I am an administrator here and will help in any way I can, with policies, guidelines, suggestions or however you need. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:54, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Response to comment on my talk page[edit]

Dear Frank Lambert:

It's good to meet such a worthy pedagogical advocate in this setting of Wikpedia. I think the current problems with the entropy article are potentially soluble, but will likely require further effort, discussion and some time. I wonder if you'd consider drafting an alternate proposal for a section, roughly as long as the recently deleted one, beginning with the words "An increasingly common approach in explaining entropy uses the term 'energy dispersal' rather than 'disorder'..."? ... Kenosis 01:19, 11 October 2006 (UTC)


FYI, I posted some info about the Oxtoby book's presentation on my talk page. Opabinia regalis 01:09, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Tricks of the trade...[edit]

What you just saw, was, I would say, a sleight of hand by a seasoned Wikipedian :-) Cheers, --HappyCamper 22:44, 23 November 2006 (UTC)


Hey, someone messaged me a while ago in response to the wikidata blurb I have on my user page. They set up a site to start the project out - its basically a place for experimental data, primary sources, and original research. Let me know if you're interested - Nkayesmith set up as a starter. Cya around. Fresheneesz 22:16, 9 December 2006 (UTC)