RE: Second law of Thermodynamics

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Wed, 19 Nov 1997 09:04:54 -0500 (EST)

At 04:49 PM 11/18/97 -0500, Vandergraaf, Chuck wrote:
>This strikes me as a bit of a game. The second law of TD applied to
>closed systems (obviously) and one can always think of an open system
>where TD's second law does not apply. However, one must eventually come
>up with the universe as a closed system by definition (if it's open,
>it's not the universe)
>Chuck Vandergraaf (who does not have immediate access to the book you

If this is a game, then it is the best that the human mind can play.
Remember all statements in science are of the form: "If A, then B." Of
course, that is actually true in very kind of knowledge but in physics the
game is much more manageable to play than in any other field---other than
mathematics which is a purely human invention.


>>From: Jan de Koning[]
>>Sent: November 18, 1997 2:11 PM
>>Subject: Second law of Thermodynamics
>>>Moorad wrote:
>>Moorad wrote:
>>>The second
>>>law of thermodynamics came about in order to unify all the irreversible
>>>phenomena observed in nature. But the question of why there is a law like
>>>that or how did the universe start is quite a different issue.
>>Not everyone agrees with this law. I am not a physicist but as far as I
>>know it only holds for closd sytems. It has not been show to be true for
>>open systems. See for example Price in Time's Arrow (Oxford, 1996). Page
>>7 in the Introduction: "Why was entropy low in the past? The chapter (2)
>>concludes with adiscussionas to what it is that really needs to be
>>explained about the assymetry of thermodynamics." See page 262 as well,
>>where chapter two is condensed.
>>Jan de Koning
>>Willowdale, Ont.