Information entropy and thermal entropy: apples and oranges Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. The frequent misunderstanding of information entropy is pointed out. It is shown that, contrary to fortuitous situations and common beliefs, there is no general interrelation between the information entropy and the thermodynamical entropy. We point out that the change of information entropy during measurement is determined by the resolution of the measurement instrument and these changes do not have a general and clear-cut interrelation with the change of thermal entropy. Moreover, these changes can be separated in space and time. We show classical physical considerations and examples to support this conclusion. Finally, we show that information entropy can violate the Third Law of Thermodynamics which is another indication of major differences from thermal entropy.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Kish, L. B., & Ferry, D. K.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Kish, LB||Ferry, DK

publication date

  • March 2018