second law of thermodynamics

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to second law of thermodynamics: entropy, Noetics

sec·ond law of ther·mo·dy·nam·ics

the entropy of the universe moves toward a maximum; similarly, the entropy of any isolated microcosm (for example, a chemical reaction) proceeds spontaneously only in that direction that yields an increase in entropy, entropy being maximal at equilibrium. To quote G.N. Lewis, "Every process that occurs spontaneously is capable of doing work; to reverse any such process requires the expenditure of work from the outside."

second law of thermodynamics

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet, the climate modeling community is very confident that its models are adequate to be a basis for public policy decisions, despite the illegitimacy of ensemble averaging and the deficiencies with regard to the second law of thermodynamics.
Caption: The second law of thermodynamics is showing early signs that it may hold up in the ultrasmall world of quantum mechanics.
The deduction is that DNA is the prime cause or source of biological order and the resolution of the paradox posed by the second law of thermodynamics.
Thus the driver that leads to change in the ecosystem is the second law of thermodynamics, with increasingly complicated structure generating increasing entropy, through increasing energy transformation.
Though such transport equations had been proposed earlier on different bases, it was generally not realized that they were violating the classical formulation of the second law of thermodynamics, as they led in some cases to a negative entropy production.
Like the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which holds that differences in physical properties will even out over time, dissatisfaction with brokers' client service skills could likely dissolve.
Pure evolution, on the other hand, relies on ignoring the laws of probability and contradicts the second law of thermodynamics, something which should make engineers similarly sceptical.
Here's a happy thought: the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the entropy law, says that the universe is running down, that energy and materials are moving from concentrated, useful states to diffuse, unusable ones, as when a pile of coal is combusted and disperses as carbon dioxide and heat.
Its vacuousness is further confirmed by its rejection of the second law of thermodynamics, which states that the simple will never make the complex without the input of programmed information.
We take into account the four kinds of causation designated by Aristotle as efficient, final, material, and formal, with the second Law of thermodynamics in the role of general final cause.

Full browser ?