Life on Earth in Violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Either the second law of thermodynamics is false or life on Earth did not emerge spontaneously, by an evolutionary process (or both). That is what this article quite convincingly suggests:
Granville Sewell: The Common Sense Law of Physics
In a recent publication Granville Sewell develops his views and makes an...
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Life on Earth in Violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Either the second law of thermodynamics is false or life on Earth did not emerge spontaneously, by an evolutionary process (or both). That is what this article quite convincingly suggests: Granville Sewell: The Common Sense Law of Physics
In a recent publication Granville Sewell develops his views and makes an important point at the beginning: Granville Sewell, On "compensating" entropy decreases, PHYSICS ESSAYS 30, 1 (2017)
: "The idea that "entropy" is a single quantity which measures disorder of all types is widely believed. Of course, you can define a quantity, which I will call "thermal" entropy, which measures randomness (uniformness) in the temperature distribution, and show that in an isolated system this thermal entropy can only increase, as heat diffuses and the temperature distribution becomes more and more uniform. And you can similarly define an "X-entropy" which measures randomness in the distribution of any other diffusing component X and show, using the same equations, that in an isolated system this X-entropy also can only increase as the component X diffuses and the distribution of X becomes more and more uniform. But the idea that there is a total entropy which measures randomness of all types is a myth, and is the source of much confusion."
Correct. Actually the concept of entropy is "not even wrong". If you define the entropy S as a quantity that obeys the equation dS=dQrev/T, you will find that, so defined, the entropy is a STATE FUNCTION FOR AN IDEAL GAS. Clausius was very impressed by this statefunctionness and decided to prove that the entropy (so defined) is a state function for ANY system. So "Entropy is a state function" became a fundamental theorem in thermodynamics. Clausius deduced it from the assumption that any cycle can be disintegrated into small Carnot cycles, and nowadays this deduction remains the only justification of "Entropy is a state function": "Carnot Cycles: S is a State Function.
Any reversible cycle can be thought of as a collection of Carnot cycles - this approximation becomes exact as cycles become infinitessimal. Entropy change around an individual cycle is zero. Sum of entropy changes over all cycles is zero." "Entropy Changes in Arbitrary Cycles.
What if we have a process which occurs in a cycle other than the Carnot cycle, e.g., the cycle depicted in Fig. 3. If entropy is a state function, cyclic integral of dS = 0, no matter what the nature of the cycle. In order to see that this is true, break up the cycle into sub-cycles, each of which is a Carnot cycle, as shown in Fig. 3. If we apply Eq. (7) to each piece, and add the results, we get zero for the sum."
The assumption on which "Entropy is a state function" is based - that any cycle can be subdivided into small Carnot cycles - is almost obviously false. An isothermal cycle CANNOT be subdivided into small Carnot cycles. A cycle involving the action of conservative forces CANNOT be subdivided into small Carnot cycles.
Conclusion: The belief that the entropy is a state function is totally unjustified. The second law of thermodynamics as expressed in terms of entropy is "not even wrong".
Still the Kelvin-Planck version of the second law is both meaningful and easily falsifiable. Consider, for instance, a parallel-plate capacitor immersed in water. In the following two videos one switches the capacitor on and off and the system can repeatedly lift floating weights: Rise in Liquid Level Between Plates of a CapacitorLiquid Dielectric Capacitor
Switching the capacitor on and off involves no work done on the system so the energy for the work done BY the system (if it repeatedly lifts floating weights) can only come from the environmental heat, in violation of the second law of thermodynamics.
The second-law-violating effects can be described in a different way. When a constant-charge parallel-plate capacitor is immersed in a liquid dielectric, e.g. water, a mysterious pressure emerges between the plates, pushes them apart and so counteracts their electrostatic attraction: "However, in experiments in which
a capacitor is submerged in a dielectric liquid the force per unit area exerted by one plate on another is observed to decrease... [...] This apparent paradox can be explained by taking into account the difference in liquid pressure in the field filled space between the plates and the field free region outside the capacitor."
So we have a high pressure between the plates and a lower pressure outside the capacitor - then what if one punches a small hole in one of the plates? There will be an eternal flow through the hole, from inside to outside. We have a SYSTEM IN DYNAMIC EQUILIBRIUM obviously violating the second law of thermodynamics.
If the plates are vertical and only partially immersed, the same mysterious pressure forces the liquid between the plates to rise above the surface of the water pool, as seen in the videos above and in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 here: I. Brevik, Fluids in electric and magnetic fields: Pressure variation and stability, Can. J . Phys. (1982)
: "Fig. 1. Two charged condenser plates partly immersed in a dielectric liquid. [...] Fig. 2. The hydrostatic pressure variation from point 1 to point 5 in Fig. 1."
In 2002 I proposed the following device violating the second law of thermodynamics: AIP Conf. Proc. 643, pp. 430-435, Pentcho Valev 2002
: "...as two vertical constant-charge capacitor plates partially dip into a pool of a liquid dielectric (e.g. water), the liquid between them rises high above the surface of the rest of the liquid in the pool. Evidently, if one punches a macroscopic hole in one of the plates, nothing could prevent the liquid between the plates from leaking out through the hole and generating an eternal waterfall outside the capacitor. This hypothesis has been discussed on many occasions but so far no serious counter-argument has been raised." Here is a schematic picture of the "eternal waterfall"
In 2004 I tried to explain the molecular mechanism behind the effect: Biased Thermal Motion and the Second Law of Thermodynamics (August 12, 2004)
Again: In an electric field, water has a tendency to rise - if there is some weight floating on the surface, it will be lifted: Chapter 11.6.2: Force on a liquid dielectric
Since switching the field on and off involves no work done on the system, the system does work for us (lifts floating weights) at the expense of heat absorbed from the surroundings (in violation of the second law of thermodynamics).
The "floating water bridge" is essentially the same phenomenon - water absorbs heat from the surroundings and uses it to "climb out of the beakers": "When exposed to a high-voltage electric field
, water in two beakers climbs out of the beakers and crosses empty space to meet, forming the water bridge. The liquid bridge, hovering in space, appears to the human eye to defy gravity." The Floating Water Bridge
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