Nov 16, 2018
The laws of thermodynamics govern the flow of energy - from your
coffee cup to the sparse plasma floating between stars to the
formation of black holes.
And, in short, they are:
You can't win.
You can't break even.
You can't get out of the game.
These laws, which were first derived by dreaming of ideal heat engines, turned out to have profound and vital physical and philosophical consequences. Far from just relating to an arbitrary concept called "temperature", they can teach us about how the Universe began - and how it will all, inevitably end.
This episode deals with the Second Law of Thermodynamics - regarding the inevitable increase of entropy and the ultimate fate of the Universe. This is a law so philosophically profound that it is believed by many to have contributed to the suicide of one of its discoverers, Boltzmann. So, while you're still acting to keep your own entropy low by increasing the entropy of the Universe (a.k.a fighting the good fight), take a listen.
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You can also contact us via Twitter @physicspod or @autocracynow. Thanks for listening, and tell fellow thermodynamic systems about the show!