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Thread: Law of thermodynamics

  1. #1 Law of thermodynamics 
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    Have the laws of thermodynamics ever been broken? How do we know either way, if it's yes or no? What would it imply if the laws of Thermodynamics were broken?


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  3. #2  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tau Ceti View Post
    Have the laws of thermodynamics ever been broken? How do we know either way, if it's yes or no? What would it imply if the laws of Thermodynamics were broken?
    There is no evidence of them ever having been broken at the macro scale **, or we would all know about it, as it would be a sensation. But thermodynamics is a theory of bulk matter and some care needs to be taken when applying it at the quantum level of subatomic particles, or to assemblages of particles that may not not constitute a thermodynamic "ensemble".

    **I also understand that some effects of relativity can violate conservation of energy. I'm not a physicist, but I think it's to do with how kinetic energy is measured when the relative speeds involved are a significant fraction of the speed of light. Maybe others better qualified can confirm, contradict or expand on this.

    (By the way, juuuust in case you've come across this, seeing as you appear to reside in the US Bible Belt, I will mention in passing that the theory of evolution does not violate the laws of thermodynamics, deliberately obtuse claims by some creationists to the contrary.)


    Last edited by exchemist; November 7th, 2013 at 10:16 AM. Reason: left out relativistic effects
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  4. #3  
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    The answer is that we don't know. Issues at the quantum level are more to do with incomplete understanding and unproven theory and speculation.As of 2013, the answer is 'no' as there is no proven evidence to the contrary.
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