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Information and Entropy

Author: Paul Penfield, Jr.
Url: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-050j-information-and-entropy-spring-2008/syllabus/MIT6_050JS08_penfield.pdf
Format: Pdf
Year: 2002
Category: Information Theory
Pages: 161
Clicks: 1465

These notes, and the related freshman-level course, are about information. Although you may have a general idea of what information is, you may not realize that the information you deal with can be quantified. That’s right, you can often measure the amount of information and use general principles about how information behaves. We will consider applications to computation and to communications, and we will also look at general laws in other fields of science and engineering. One of these general laws is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Although thermodynamics, a branch of physics, deals with physical systems, the Second Law is approached here as an example of information processing in natural and engineered systems. The Second Law as traditionally stated in thermodynamics deals with a physical quantity known as “entropy.”

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