Entropy and its many Avatars

Srinivasa R.S. Varadhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Entropy was first introduced in 1865 by Rudolf Clausius in his study of the connection between work and heat. A mathematical definition was given by Boltzmann as the logarithm of the number of micro states that corresponds to a macro state. It plays important roles in statistical mechanics, in the theory of large deviations in probability, as an invariant in ergodic theory and as a useful tool in communication theory. This article explores some of the connections between these different contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1845-1857
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Mathematical Society of Japan
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


  • Entropy
  • Information
  • Large deviations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics


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