PhilSci Archive

Is Gravity an Entropic Force?

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

This is the latest version of this item.

igef2011.pdf - Published Version

Download (71kB)


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.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
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 14:00
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2011 14:00
Item ID: 8805
Official URL:

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item