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."
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

second law of thermodynamics

Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Setare, "Interacting holographic dark energy model and generalized second law of thermodynamics in non-flat universe," JCAP, no.
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. Considering this state of affairs, the public might want to take into account playwright George Bernard Shaw's warning, "Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance."
In accordance with the second law of thermodynamics, high-value electrical energy loss from reflected light caused by additional glazing should be compared with thermal energy saved from additional glazing.
And another: "According to the second law of thermodynamics, energy transformations result in the universe becoming more disordered.
The Universe is heading in this direction, according to the second law of thermodynamics. Indeed every time energy change occurs, entropy is released into the Universe, and moves it one step closer to its ultimate destiny.
Discover entropy and the second law of thermodynamics; a playful way of discovering a law of nature.
As many creationists do, he implies that the existence of life on earth violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. "Nobel Laureate physicist Erwin Schrodinger went against the Second Law of Thermodynamics (which says that a system tends toward greater disorder)" Sheiman writes, deleting from the Law the important conditional "in a closed system." Attempting to resurrect the dogma of elan vital, he continues, "There must be an 'innate force' within all living matter that functions to build up and integrate an organism."
The second law of thermodynamics states that everything moves from order to chaos.
What of the second law of thermodynamics, the universal law of increasing entropy, and its resultant significance in terms of its explanation of a net increase in disorder?
Entitled "The Two Cultures", it warned of the growing gulf between scientists and "literary intellectuals", a class he described as "natural Luddites" who not only sneered at science as an inferior branch of learning and were ignorant of the Second Law of Thermodynamics but in their complacent uninterest in the scientific revolution were blind to the menaces of nuclear weapons, overpopulation and the gap between the rich and poor.
This is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a law, which no one can ever change.
ONE of the few scientific facts I can easily remember, apart from the theory of relativity and Boyle's second law of thermodynamics (naturally), is that nearly half of your body heat is lost through your head.

Full browser ?