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Information, SMI, and Entropy


Different Kinds of Information

Crystal Structure Specific information is defined by the content in a given sequence of units. It could be words in a sentence, or nucleotides in DNA, ... etc. The amount depends on the minimum number of instructions needed to specify or describe the structure. Many instructions are needed to specify a complex, information-bearing structure such as DNA. Only a few instructions are need to specify an orderly structure such as a crystal. In this case we have a description of the initial sequence or unit arrangement which is then repeated ad infinitum according to the packing instructions (see Figure 02). Such system contains no information.

Figure 02 Crystal
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EquilibriumA system would be most probably in an equilibrium state when leaves to its own devices as shown in Figure 03. Such state would also contain no information.

  • In static configuration, it is the un-organized arrangement of books in library, for example.
  • In thermodynamics, it is the distribution of particles in the most probable state.
  • In DNA, it is the random arrangement of the nucleotides.
  • In atom/molecule, it is the ground state (lowest energy level) for the electrons/atoms.
  • Figure 03 Equilibrium
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