News FocusSTATISTICAL PHYSICS

A Fresh Take on Disorder, Or Disorderly Science?

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Science  23 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5585, pp. 1268-1269
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5585.1268

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Summary

A maverick physicist has proposed a new definition of entropy, and his idea has split the small and already contentious community of statistical physicists like a cue ball opening a game of pool. Supporters say the new definition extends the reach of statistical mechanics to important new classes of problems. Skeptics counter that the new theory amounts to little more than fiddling with a fudge factor.