Challenges to The Second Law of Thermodynamics: Theory and Experiment / Edition 1

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The second law of thermodynamics is considered one of the central laws of science, engineering and technology. For over a century it has been assumed to be inviolable by the scientific community. Over the last 10-20 years, however, more than two dozen challenges to it have appeared in the physical literature - more than during any other period in its 150-year history. The number and variety of these represent a cogent threat to its absolute status. This is the first book to document and critique these modern challenges. Written by two leading exponents of this rapidly emerging field, it covers the theoretical and experimental aspects of principal challenges. In addition, unresolved foundational issues concerning entropy and the second law are explored. This book should be of interest to anyone whose work or research is touched by the second law.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"This volume, appropriately entitled Challenges, was a collaboration … . It is extraordinarily well researched and beautifully organized; it may be approached on many levels by students and ‘lay’ people … . It should also be read by experienced theoretical physicists, chemists and mathematicians and by experimental physicists … . The various typefaces, paper sk and binding are all good. With its many illustrations and few equations this book will be a useful supplement to any elementary course in thermodynamics … ." (Daniel C. Mattis, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 20 (3), 2006)

"Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics are two of the most difficult concepts for the student of physics. … In the main, Challenges to the second law of thermodynamics is an excellent piece of work which should provide an adequate coverage of this intriguing topic to advanced students and researchers in physics." (P. Narayana Swamy, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2008 b)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789048167685
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 12/16/2010
  • Series: Fundamental Theories of Physics Series, #146
  • Edition description: Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Table of Contents


1: Entropy and the Second Law
1.1 Early Thermodynamics
1.2 The Second Law: Twenty-One Formulations
1.3 Entropy: Twenty-One Varieties
1.4 Nonequilibrium Entropy
1.5 Entropy and the Second Law: Discussion
1.6 Zeroth and Third Laws of Thermodynamics

2: Challenges (1870-1980)
2.1 Maxwell’s Demon and Other Victorian Devils
2.2 Exorcising Demons
2.3 Inviolability Arguments
2.4 Candidate Second Law Challenges

3: Modern Quantum Challenges: Theory
3.1 Prolegomenon
3.2 Thermodynamic Limit and Weak Coupling
3.3 Beyond Weak Coupling: Quantum Correlations
3.4 Allahverdyan and Nieuwenhuizen Theorem
3.5 Scaling and Beyond
3.6 Quantum Kinetic and Non-Kinetic Models
3.7 Disputed Quantum Models
3.8 Kinetics in the DC Limit
3.9 Theoretical Summary
4: Low-Temperature Experiments and Proposals
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Superconductivity
4.3 Keefe CMCE Engine
4.4 Nikulov Inhomogeneous Loop
4.5 Bose-Einstein Condensation and the Second Law
4.6 Quantum Coherence and Entanglement

5: Modern Classical Challenges
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Gordon Membrane Models
5.3 Denur Challenges
5.4 Crosignani-Di Porto Adiabatic Piston
5.5 Trupp Electrocaloric Cycle
5.6 Liboff Tri-Channel
5.7 Thermodynamic Gas Cycles

6: Gravitational Challenges
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Asymmetric Gravitator Model
6.3 Loschmidt Gravito-Thermal Effect
7: Chemical Nonequilibrium Steady States
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Chemical Paradox and Detailed Balance
7.3 Pressure Gradients and Reactions Rates
7.4 Numerical Simulations
7.5 Laboratory Experiments
7.6 Discussion and Outlook
References 8: Plasma Paradoxes
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Plasma I System
8.3 Plasma II System
8.4 Jones andCruden Criticisms
9: MEMS/NEMS Devices
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Thermal Capacitors
9.3 Linear Electrostatic Motor (LEM)
9.4 Hammer-Anvil Model
9.5 Experimental Prospects

10: Special Topics
10.1 Rubrics for Classical Challenges
10.2 Thermosynthetic Life
10.3 Physical Eschatology
10.4 The Second Law Mystique
Color Plates

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