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Is Gravity an Entropic Force?

Shan, Gao (2011) Is Gravity an Entropic Force? [Published Article]

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    The remarkable connections between gravity and thermodynamics seem to imply that gravity is not fundamental but emergent, and in particular, as Verlinde suggested, gravity is probably an entropic force. In this paper, we will argue that the idea of gravity as an entropic force is debatable. It is shown that there is no convincing analogy between gravity and entropic force in Verlinde’s example. Neither holographic screen nor test particle satisfies all requirements for the existence of entropic force in a thermodynamics system. Furthermore, we show that the entropy increase of the screen is not caused by its statistical tendency to increase entropy as required by the existence of entropic force, but in fact caused by gravity. Therefore, Verlinde’s argument for the entropic origin of gravity is problematic. In addition, we argue that the existence of a minimum size of spacetime, together with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in quantum theory, may imply the fundamental existence of gravity as a geometric property of spacetime. This may provide a further support for the conclusion that gravity is not an entropic force.

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    Item Type: Published Article
    Additional Information: Published in Entropy special issue “Black Hole Thermodynamics”, Jacob D. Bekenstein (eds). 13, 936-948 (2011).
    Keywords: gravity; thermodynamics; entropic force; discrete spacetime
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
    Depositing User: Mr. Shan Gao
    Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2011 10:00
    Last Modified: 25 Sep 2011 10:00
    Item ID: 8805
    Official URL:

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