Explore Zombie Cat

Look around, watch a video, read a story... who knows, you might learn something. If there's something missing, please click on the Share link to tell us about it.

Maxwell's Demon

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 29 March 2011
in Great Explanations

Teachable Moment: First, let's admit...it's a cool name... so cool, that rock bands chose it to have geek "cred."
But it's also a fascinating thought experiment that challenges a "law" of thermodynamics.

In 1867, James Clerk Maxwell pictured two chambers, A and B, each filled with gas at the same temperature and with a door between them. Theorists later had a demon open the door (without doing any work) to let the fastest-moving molecules pass from A into B, and the slowest from B to A. Over time, the speed of the atoms (and therefore the temperature) increases in B — a violation of the second law of thermodynamics.

References: http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/26939

0 votes
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet