The contingent law: A tale of Maxwell's Demon

Publication Year:
2004
Usage 686
Downloads 686
Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2201
Author(s):
Gijsbers, Victor
preprint description
In my master's thesis for physics and philosophy, I take a long and hard look at the debates surrounding Maxwell's Demon and the status of the second law of thermodynamics. I try to clarify the use of Maxwell's thought experiment in understanding the second law; to prove that the second law is contingent, given only classical mechanics and time asymmetry; to argue that the law only holds because of facts about the kinds of particles that exist in our universe; to show that and why the attempts to banish the demon using fluctuations, measurements or information or erasure have been unsuccessful; and I conclude that Maxwell's Demon is alive and kicking.