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2nd law of thermodynamics


The Second Law of Thermodynamics states the following:


 

The basic concepts behind the 2nd law are based on heat flow including heat engines and heat pumps. They provide the starting point for the second law but that has lead to much more.

Heat always spontaneously flows from hot objects to cold objects. Heat never spontaneously flows from a cold object to hot object.

 

When Heat transfer used to do work some of the heat always goes to the colder location; this is called Entropy. You can never turn all of the heat into work.

Heat can be forced to go from cold to hot by applying work, this process also reduces entropy.

 


Entropy is a measure of the thermal energy in a system unavailable for conversion into work. It also turns out to be a measure of the multiplicity of a system and there by a measure of the disorder or randomness in a system.

In Classical Thermodynamics

In statically thermodynamics

Entropy is mathematically defined as: 
d
S = dQ/T

The results is that the change in entropy as:
DS = Q/T

  • S = entropy

  • Q = Heat energy

  • T = Temperature

Entropy is mathematically defined as
S = k ln W

This results in the change in entropy as:
D
S = k ln W2 / W1

  •  S = entropy
  •  k = Boltzmann constant = 1.38066 X 10-23 J K-1
  •  W = the multiplicity of a system.

 

 


Entropy and Disorder

Entropy is related to disorder through the number of equivalent states of a system denoted by W. The number of equivalent states of disordered sytems (Wd) is far more than the number of equivalent states of ordered systems (Wo) such that Wd >> Wo  this means they Sd >> So.

 Seeing as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics indicates that entropy tends to increase; it also indicates that a system's degree of disorder also tends to increases. The only method for increasing a system’s order; decreasing its entropy; is for work to be performed on the system.


Abiogenesis and 2nd Law

 

Abiogenesis is the spontaneous process of life coming from non life by naturalistic means. Now living things are the most ordered and complex systems known to exist. Furthermore the simplest known of all living cell is infinitely more organized and complex than the most organized non-living chemical systems produced in a lab. 

The result is that the entropy of a living cell is many orders of magnitude lower than the entropy for the same amount non-living chemicals. As a result abiogenesis goes against the 2nd law’s tendency towards increasing entropy.  

While entropy can be decreased by applying work to a system no evidence exists for a naturalistic mechanism for such a large decrease in entropy. Without this mechanism the 2nd law suggests that abiogenesis is impossible.


Applied Energy and 2nd Law

Now the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics shows that when energy applied a system it can reduce its entropy. It does not however show how the way energy is applied to a system affects its entropy. It does not show the deference between construction work and a bomb.  Construction work reduces a system’s entropy by contrast bombs increase a system’s entropy.  Unfortunately the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics does not show the difference. As a result an additional principle is needed to show this difference and this principle is also need to really determine if abiogenesis is possible or not.


 

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