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Astrophysics/Entropy

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Question
Hi, not sure if this is very relevant for you but,

If entropy is increasing in the universe, then why is there life? Doesn't the very existence of life mean that the entropy has decreased?

Thank you!

Answer
It would seem so at first glance, just like the existence of ice would seem to mean that (higher order) and endothermic reactions.  What you have to understand is that the processes that create and sustain life are energetically wasteful and still increase entropy in the universe.  Just like cooling ice, that heat has to go somewhere (the air above a lake, for instance) to change water to a more orderly phase.  Heat is a form of energy, and it cannot just disappear.  The laws of thermodynamics stand, for all the wonderment of the order and structure of life itself.

Astrophysics

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

Fusion, solar flares, cosmic rays, radiation in space, and stellar physics questions. Generally, nuclear-related astrophysics, but I can usually point you in the right direction if it's not nuclear-related or if it's nuclear but not astrophysics.

Experience

Just moved from being a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin into government work. Doctoral dissertation was on a reaction in CNO-cycle fusion, worked in gamma-ray astronomy in the space science division of the naval research laboratory in the high-energy space environment branch.

Organizations
Government work as a physical scientist with a nuclear focus.

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in physics, research was on nuclear fusion reactions important in stellar fusion, further work on space telescope technology.

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