Second Law of Thermodynamics

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Full Title or Meme

The entropy of isolated systems left to spontaneous evolution cannot decrease, as they always arrive at a state of thermodynamic equilibrium where the entropy is highest at the given internal energy.


  • The original purpose of the Second Law of Thermodynamics was by Carnot in the determination of the maximum efficiency of steam engines.
  • Boltzmann argued that the Second Law is statistical in nature and stated that while systems with increasing are possible, their occurrence could be assigned an extremely low probability.
  • Boltzmann's solution in terms of large ensembles of point particles has become the field of Statistical Physics, which is the only physical law that is not deterministic.
  • In communications and information sciences, the Second Law of Thermodynamics is typically addressed as a statement about information.
  • From computer science Rolf Landauer used information theory to determine that while reversible computation was possible, the erasure of information always resulted in loss of energy.
  • Now physicists are using Landauer's results to create "Constructor Theory" which relies on qubits to predict which actions are possible.[1] It is interesting that man has seldom build any machine that was less efficient than one that, like the quantum Computer, manipulates qubits. This new view according to Yunger Halpern is this is just the discarding of information — or the inability to keep track of it — is really the reason why the second law holds.


  1. Philip Ball, Physicists Rewrite the Fundamental Law That Leads to Disorder Quanta Magazine (2022-05-16)