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The contingent law: A tale of Maxwell's Demon

Gijsbers, Victor (2004) The contingent law: A tale of Maxwell's Demon. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    In my master's thesis for physics and philosophy, I take a long and hard look at the debates surrounding Maxwell's Demon and the status of the second law of thermodynamics. I try to clarify the use of Maxwell's thought experiment in understanding the second law; to prove that the second law is contingent, given only classical mechanics and time asymmetry; to argue that the law only holds because of facts about the kinds of particles that exist in our universe; to show that and why the attempts to banish the demon using fluctuations, measurements or information or erasure have been unsuccessful; and I conclude that Maxwell's Demon is alive and kicking.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Maxwell's Demon; second law of thermodynamics; entropy; information
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
    Depositing User: Victor Gijsbers
    Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2005
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:13
    Item ID: 2201
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2201

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