Quantum-Loophole 2nd Law Challenge
This is Prof. Kostic's Web site being transitioned from the original or Legacy Web(*) - sorry for broken links referring to it!
Microscopic and Quantum Paradoxes and Challenges to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
Arrow of Time Reversed by Physicists in Quantum Experiments Newsweek: "The research relied on the concept of correlated particles. You may have heard of quantum entanglement—the idea that the state of each particle in an “entanglement” can only be described in terms of the rest of the group. Similarly, correlated particles become linked and share information. Their bond is not as strong as in the case of entangled particles. ... When scientists observed correlated particles, however, the opposite occurred. The hydrogen got hotter and the carbon cooled. This demonstrates a reversal of the arrow of time on a microscopic level ... However, the scientists explain, this law [2nd Law] does not take into account correlation. It assumes particles are uncorrelated. " [BUT! 'Making something hotter and cooler' (temperature difference) does not necessarily imply heat transfer from lower to higher temperature, since it could be done by adiabatic (ideally isentropic) compression/expansion without heat transfer (e.g., as in refrigeration processes, 'vortex tube', etc.), either external work is applied or internal work-potential (possibly particle 'correlation' potential) is 'converted' to thermal non-equilibrium].
Fluctuating phenomena in perfect equilibrium are reversible, thus isentropic, so that any reduction in entropy reported in the literature (whatever that means), may be due to ‘improvised’ entropy definitions at micro- and sub-micro scales, approximate accounting for thermal and/or neglecting diverse displacement contributions to entropy (for example, during isothermal free expansion, entropy is generated due to elastic-field volume-displacement, and similarly could be due to subtle and illusive micro- and sub-micro ‘displacements’, including particle ‘correlation’ and/or quantum entanglement in respective force fields, etc.). Also, note that fluctuating temperature does not always mean fluctuation of entropy as demonstrated by the isentropic compression-expansion. Therefore, the fluctuation phenomena do not violate the SL since the temperature fluctuations could be adiabatic (in limit, isentropic) or due to heat transfer fluctuations. See also my Comments on Arrow of Time and Common Law of Physics
The study, "H-theorem in quantum physics," was published September 12 in Nature Scientific Reports [doi:10.1038/srep32815]. The authors on the study were G.B. Lesovik of Russia's L.D. Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics and Switzerland's Theoretische Physik; A.V. Lebedevof Switzerland's Theoretische Physik; M.V. Suslov of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology; and I.A. Sadowski and V.M. Vinokur (corresponding author) of Materials Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory. "This allowed us to formulate the quantum H-theorem as it related to things that could be physically observed," said Ivan Sadovskyy, a joint appointee with Argonne's Materials Science Division and the Computation Institute and another author on the paper. "It establishes a connection between well-documented quantum physics processes and the theoretical quantum channels that make up quantum information theory."... The work predicts certain conditions under which the H-theorem might be violated and entropy — in the short term — might actually decrease... As far back as 1867, physicist James Clerk Maxwell described a hypothetical way to violate the Second Law ("Maxwell's demon")... Although the violation is only on the local scale, the implications are far-reaching," Valerii Vinokur said. "This provides us a platform for the practical realization of a quantum Maxwell's demon, which could make possible a local quantum perpetual motion machine... For example, he said, the principle could be designed into a "refrigerator" which could be cooled remotely — that is, the energy expended to cool it could take place anywhere. The authors are planning to work closely with a team of experimentalists to design a proof-of-concept system, they said.
"It is hard to believe that a serious scientist nowadays, who truly comprehend the 2nd Law and its essence, would challenge it based on incomplete and elusive facts."
(Sometimes, highly respected scientists in their fields, do not fully comprehend the essence of the 2nd Law of thermodynamics)
The current frenzy about the 2nd Law violation (getting 'useful energy' from within equilibrium-PMM2) is in many ways similar to the prior frenzy about the 1st Law violation (getting 'energy' from nowhere-PMM1).
As the fundamental laws of nature and thermodynamics are expended from simple systems in physics and chemistry, to different space and time scales and to much more complex systems in biology, life and intelligent processes, there are more challenges to be comprehended and understood.
Comments and Discussions
by Milivoje M. Kostic, Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at Northern Illinois University, Licensed Professional Engineer in State of Illinois (USA) and Editor-in-Chief of Thermodynamics of Entropy Journal
Entropy can be decreased, but cannot be destroyed!
After all, before the '2nd Law violation' claims are stated, the reliable criteria for the 2nd Law violation, including proper definition and evaluation of entropy, should be established based on full comprehension of the fundamental Laws."
The 2nd Law states that all processes are irreversible in forced direction where mass-energy flux is transferred and dissipated to thermal heat, thus irreversibly generating entropy, in addition to mass-energy conservation stated by the 1st Law. Only at infinitesimal irreversibility the processes would achieve in limit the reversibility without entropy generation, thus entropy being conserved, but there is no way to destroy entropy, the latter would imply mass-energy flux transfer opposite to forced direction, with above 100% reversible efficiency, thus generating non-equilibrium from within equilibrium with unstable and catastrophic consequences, never observed in nature.
Reversibility is the most efficient process with conservation of work potential (expended work may be retrieved back entirely), the limit of the 2nd Law. Thus ‘getting’ more than 100% reversible efficiency (violating the 2nd Law) would be unstable and catastrofic, unrealistic and impossible. After all, most fundamental physics equations are reversible type. Even if a reversible 'Arrow of time' go backwards, it will not be violation of the 2nd Law but its limiting ideal, reversible case (still not real).
Furthermore, the thermal phenomena, temperature and entropy are macroscopic average quantities of random distribution of fluctuating micro-thermal properties, including self-sustainable equilibrium processes (macroscopic quantities constant in equilibrium, the spirit of randomized thermal equilibrium). For example, the Maxwell-Boltzmann thermal distribution within an ideal gas is non-uniform, spatial and temporal distribution of micro properties of molecules’ position and momenta, thus such quasi-thermal micro-fluctuations do not represent increase and decrease of (macro) thermal properties as micro violation of the 2nd Law, but to the contrary, they (thermal micro-fluctuations) represent the definition of thermal randomness with stable, self-sustained equilibrium with maximum entropy, i.e., minimum Boltzmann’s H-value quantity.
On microscopic and quantum scales the macroscopic quantities cannot be defined as such, but only as quasi-equivalents for certain comparisons, without true meanings. Furthermore, the time and spatial integrals of micro quantities result in macro quantities. Therefore, claiming violation of the 2nd Law on micro-scale or special processes is inappropriate and due to lack of full comprehension of the 2nd Law or desire for unjustified attention for self-serving purposes, including providing funding for unrealistic expectations. Invoking wishful Maxwell demon (to achieve a purposeful effect without required work effort) is the confirmation-proof of impossibility of such violation claims and 'misuse' of the fundamental 2nd Law for self-attention-serving purposes or due to lack of proper tooling (conceptual, analytical, numerical or experimental limitations) and lack of comprehension. After all, the wishful Maxwell demon could not be ever realized and most of the 2nd Law paradoxes and challenges have been resolved in the favor of the 2nd Law and never otherwise. It is self-evident that reversible processes are the most efficient and governed by limiting laws of mechanics and physics, and they represent the ideal upper limit of the 2nd Law. The underlying mass-energy structures and processes at micro scales are more complex and some undetected at our present state of tooling and mental comprehension. However, their integral manifestation at macroscopic level are more realistically observable and reliable, thus being the 'check-and-balance' of microscopic and quantum hypotheses. Since true reversibility is present in equilibrium processes, but for real processes (process means directional forcing of displacement of mass-energy fluxes) at least an infinitesimal non-equilibrium forcing is necessary to provide direction, then all real processes should be at least infinitesimally irreversible, thus all real processes are irreversible, reversibility being an ideal limiting case. Since the macroscopic processes are integral outcomes of micro- and quanto-processes, then they also should be at least infinitesimally-infinitesimally irreversible, even if non-observable at present state of tooling and comprehension.
NOTE: Entropy (or The 2nd) Law (or our other laws) do NOT drive natural processes, but the other way around, the processes are only described/approximated by our laws. Processes are driven by non-equilibrium forces, transferring mass-energy fluxes "towards" equilibrium (cause-and-effect phenomena) while dissipating non-equilibrium useful-energy to heat, thus generating entropy. In essence we do not control entropy production, but we control process forces "resulting to" some entropy production and other related quantities. However, no Demon (nor any other or quantum control) could destroy entropy to be overall reduced within all interacting systems!
The 2nd Law is not about disorder and probability per se (or any other math or physics 'tools' per se used to describe it), but about spontaneous, forced-tendency (natural process-forcing displacement) of mass-energy redistribution in certain, irreversible direction (process driving force), from higher to lower energy-potential (mass-energy density in space).Spontaneity implies forced-directionality and in turn irreversibility. No spontaneous, irreversible process could ever be completely reversed or undone. For example, the driving force for life on Earth is the irreversible dissipation of energy from the Sun.
Challenges to the Second Law Challengers: The 'challengers' need to demonstrate and quantify destruction of entropy to challenge the universal validity of the Second Law. It has been reasoned and thus proven here that destruction of entropy, i.e., violation of the Second Law, is against the forced tendency of natural processes and thus impossible, leaving 'No Hope' for the challengers. After all, the 'Wishful Maxwell's Demon' could not be realized since 1867.