The Second Law of Thermodynamics is, perhaps, the most abused physical law of all time. It may be rivaled for that distinction by the Uncertainty Principle, Relativity, and Hawking Radiation, but I think the Second Law probably wins the contest.
There is a plethora of nonsense disseminated on the web and elsewhere that misrepresents what the law actually says. This series is an attempt to curb some of that nonsense. Along the way, I hope to make some sense of what the second law of thermodynamics actually does say, as well as addressing some of the nonsense that people believe about it.
I had originally intended to write one post covering this topic, but as I wrote, the more it expanded, and the more topics I discovered I wanted to cover. Therefore, I address separate topics as bite-sized posts that I hope are a little more digestible. Rather than swamp the blog all at once, they will be posted one at a time in installments.
The next post is entitled: What the Second Law Does Not Say.
- What the Second Law Does Not Say
- What the Second Law Does Say
- Entropy is Not a Measure of Disorder
- Reversible Processes
- The Carnot Cycle
- The Definition of Entropy
- Perpetual Motion
- The Hydrogen Economy
- Heat Can Be Transferred From a Cold Body to a Hot Body: The Air Conditioner
- The Second Law and Swamp Coolers
- Entropy and Statistical Thermodynamics
- Partition Functions
- Entropy and Information Theory
- The Second Law and Creationism
- Entropy as Religious, Spiritual, or Self-Help Metaphor
- Free Energy
- Spontaneous Change and Equilibrium
- The Second Law, Radiative Transfer, and Global Warming
- The Second Law, Microscopic Reversibility, and Small Systems
- The Arrow of Time
- The Heat Death of the Universe
- Gravity and Entropy
- The Second Law and Nietzsche's Eternal Recurrence