On an Unbelievably Short Proof of the Second Law

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Parker, Daniel
conference paper description
This paper investigates Jaynes’ “unbelievably short proof” of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. It assesses published criticisms of the proof and concludes that these criticisms miss the mark by demanding results that either import expectations of a proof not consistent with an information-theoretic approach, or would require assumptions not employed in the proof itself, as it looks only to establish a weaker conclusion. Finally, a weakness in the proof is identified and illustrated. This weakness stems from the fact the Jaynes’ assumption of unitary evolution is too strong given his perspective, rather than too weak to provide the desired results.