When the very cold liquid nitrogen (-320.4 F[degrees]), becomes a gas, that phase change results in a change of thermodynamic entropy. The sites were chosen, in part, to be relatively entropy neutral so that the entropy change associated with 3 liters of liquid-to-gaseous nitrogen would be substantially above any changes of entropy that might naturally be associated with a target site.
It follows that high thermodynamic entropy signifies the inability of a system to compensate the disturbances and so (i) the system might disintegrate, or (ii) the system might select (if that is feasible) a scenario of isolation, trying to reduce the information it receives, and thus, narrowing its horizon of meaning.
The thematic overlap between thermodynamic entropy and informational entropy as connected to a shift from physis to psyche was not new for Conrad in the time that he started and completed The Secret Agent.
Even among the familiar statistical mechanical entropies those named after Boltzmann/Planck and Gibbs respectively are not necessarily equal to each other and neither do they exhibit quite the same behaviour as the thermodynamic entropy (Penrose ).
The justification for calling this quantity entropy came from its similarity to Boltzmann's and Willard Gibbs' statistical equations for thermodynamic entropy. However, this conflation of terms and meanings served only to exacerbate an already serious muddle.
The point is to find concepts that are valid in another discipline, and transport them from the originating discipline, either by using the same term, or modifying the term with an adjective to identify the new discipline (for example, social entropy as distinguished from thermodynamic entropy).