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Maximum Disorder of Dumbbells on a Rack

Posted May 24, '13 at 8:06pm

Xzeno

Xzeno

2,082 posts

Nope, it isn't chaos theory or entropy or physics. As Aknerd observes, your ordering is essentially arbitrary in regards to entropy.

No, this isn't physics. This, my friends, is computer science.

 

Posted May 25, '13 at 10:28pm

Reton8

Reton8

2,265 posts

Moderator

Are you sure it's not entropy:

Entropy is a measure of the number of specific ways in which a system may be arranged, often taken to be a measure of disorder.

or does that on pertain to heat?

I recall a theory, something about how everything in the universe heads toward disorder or, all matter eventually becomes energy, which is then lost, something along these lines. But I can't remember the theory exactly or the name. I thought it somewhat related to the dumbbell question.

 

Posted May 26, '13 at 12:29am

Salvidian

Salvidian

3,817 posts

or does that on pertain to heat?

It pertains to heat (specifically between molecules) but it's often used metaphorically.

Take this scenario for example: there's a fight in a room where everyone is equally spaced apart. Naturally, everyone migrates to the area of the fight, thus increasing disorder because the space isn't spaced equally anymore. It's a change in arrangement.

 

Posted May 26, '13 at 3:36pm

Xzeno

Xzeno

2,082 posts

Yes, I'm sure. The ordering is largely arbitrary. You are essentially asking how you ought to order a set,  and what the worst case is for a nonspecific sorting algorithm.

You could perhaps argue that it is information theory, which does deal with entropy as compared to ordered sets of information, being the cross section of physics and computer science. Although such a comparison is hardly the defining trait of the field.

 

Posted May 26, '13 at 4:42pm

KentyBK

KentyBK

542 posts

I recall a theory, something about how everything in the universe heads toward disorder or, all matter eventually becomes energy, which is then lost, something along these lines.

Sounds like a strange phrasing for the second law of thermodynamics.

And yes, it's a CS problem, as has been pointed out. More specifically, it's an optimization problem. You could probably write an evolutionary algorithm or the like to find a few good solutions, assuming the thread can decide on a system to measure dumbbell disorder.

 

Posted May 26, '13 at 5:48pm

Reton8

Reton8

2,265 posts

Moderator

Sounds like a strange phrasing for the second law of thermodynamics.

I think I found the theory, although from the article it seems a rather weak theory, which is disappointing because I remember a physics teacher being the person to tell me about it. it does have to due with thermodynamics and it looks like it is related to the second law of thermodynamics.

Heat Death of the Universe

Isn't this also under the  larger umbrella of statistics? So CS computer science or computational statistics? Perhaps both?

I feel a chess algorithm/chess program could be modified to determine what moves (on the dumbbell rack) lead closer to organization or disorganization and how much organization or disorganization is introduced in one dumbbell (or dumbbell pair) move.

But the real question is, do I continue and try to find an actually answer? Would there be an agreed upon answer (different algorithms arriving at the same configuration for maximum disorganization of the dumbbell rack) or would maximum disorganization always be subjective to how a person defines "maximum disorganization (of the dumbbell rack)?"

 

Posted May 27, '13 at 3:29pm

KentyBK

KentyBK

542 posts

Isn't this also under the  larger umbrella of statistics? So CS computer science or computational statistics? Perhaps both?

I meant Computer Science, because a lot of it deals with various optimization problems.

I feel a chess algorithm/chess program could be modified to determine what moves (on the dumbbell rack) lead closer to organization or disorganization and how much organization or disorganization is introduced in one dumbbell (or dumbbell pair) move.

You're right, you could model a program similar to a chess bot, in that it could evaluate certain moves and finding an optimal solution accordingly. Of course, you'd need to define not only maximum dumbbell disorder, but also a stopping point, because unlike chess there's no "winning condition" to stop the program.

Although admittedly, that's kinda overkill. There's a few simpler ways one could tackle the problem.

But the real question is, do I continue and try to find an actually answer? Would there be an agreed upon answer (different algorithms arriving at the same configuration for maximum disorganization of the dumbbell rack) or would maximum disorganization always be subjective to how a person defines "maximum disorganization (of the dumbbell rack)?"

It isn't so much an issue of what disorder *is*, but rather how you measure any given configurations degree of disorder. If the evaluation is the same, then different algorithms would lead to similar results, depending on how the algorithms in question work.

 

Posted May 27, '13 at 6:25pm

Salvidian

Salvidian

3,817 posts

Sounds like a strange phrasing for the second law of thermodynamics.

Which includes entropy. Yay!

 

Posted May 28, '13 at 3:59am

Reton8

Reton8

2,265 posts

Moderator

I found this video, it takes a moment but it eventually talks about entropy, although not very in depth.

rnThe Arrow of Time feat. Sean Carroll

 
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