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Then German physicist Rudolf Clausius developed the kinetic theory mathematically in , and the scientific world took note. Clausius and two other physicists, James Clerk Maxwell and Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann who developed the kinetic theory of gases in the s , introduced sophisticated mathematics into physics for the first…. In Rudolf Clausius , a German physicist, clarified the mechanics of evaporation in his kinetic theory of gases. Evaporation occurs when more molecules of a liquid are leaving its surface than returning to it, and the higher the temperature the more of these escaped molecules will be….

A New Physics Theory of Life

History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Now, US and Russian physicists may have found a way to do just that. In physics terms, this is the equivalent of finding a river that flows uphill, or chucking an ice cube on the fire to fan the flame.

Laws of Thermodynamics

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy a measure of disorder always increases. Shuffle a fresh pack of cards, and its initial neat arrangement will get messed up.

Physics - Thermodynamics: (4 of 14) Second Law of Thermodynamics (Entropy)

And if you start out with a neat desk in the morning, it will tend towards messiness as the day wears on. But physicists, using quantum mechanics to describe particular scenarios of interacting particles where the order of the system increases, appear to have violated this rule, with big ramifications.

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But there is nothing to worry about, really. The Second Law is actually one of the most profound laws of nature.

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Recommended Quantum physics for the terminally confused Physics. Physicists, as is their wont, have been thinking of ways to break the law for more than years with the practical application of making a perpetual motion machine.


In , Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell thought up a somewhat fantastical way to do it. It involved a little demon working as a gatekeeper between two rooms, one hot and one cold. The Second Law and common sense says that if you open a door between the two, the temperature will eventually even out between them. This would heat the warm room and cool the cold one.

Laws of Thermodynamics - High School Physics

First, Vinokur and his team describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics in quantum terms. They then use it to calculate the entropy changes for a series of thought experiments involving the collision of particles, such as electrons and neutrons.

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If the collisions are set up in a particular way, the team found, the entropy change can become locally negative — meaning the particles are in a more ordered state when they come out than when they go in. As Vinokur explains, this local violation simply means that the entropy decreases in one particular place, while increasing in another. Now, temporary violations of the Second Law can happen even in everyday experience.

Once in a while, a shuffled pack of cards yields a royal flush, five ordered cards 10, J, Q, K, A all in the same suit.

The importance of the new work is that this emergence of order can be controlled — a bit like the dealer stacking the deck.