The Third Law, Absolute Entropy and Free Energy. Lecture 4 . The Third Law.
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“If the entropy of each element in some crystalline state may be taken as zero at the absolute zero of temperature, every substance has a finite positive entropy, but at absolute zero, the entropy may become zero, and does so become in the case of perfectly crystalline substances.”
In the natural world, perfectly crystalline substances are rare if not non-existent.
Many naturally crystalline substances, i.e., minerals, are actually solutions, with substitution of one type of atom for another, e.g., Fe and Mg in olivine, (Fe,Mg)2SiO4
This substitution constitutes a randomness or loss of information about the system; in other words, it constitutes an entropy, called the configurational entropy.