second law of thermodynamics

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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."
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second law of thermodynamics

see THERMODYNAMICS.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
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