Authors
Jos Uffink
University of Minnesota
Abstract
The aim of this article is to analyse the relation between the second law of thermodynamics and the so-called arrow of time. For this purpose, a number of different aspects in this arrow of time are distinguished, in particular those of time-reversal (non-)invariance and of (ir)reversibility. Next I review versions of the second law in the work of Carnot, Clausius, Kelvin, Planck, Gibbs, Caratheodory and Lieb and Yngvason, and investigate their connection with these aspects of the arrow of time. It is shown that this connection varies a great deal along with these formulations of the second law. According to the famous formulation by Planck, the second law expresses the irreversibility of natural processes. But in many other formulations irreversibility or even time-reversal non-invariance plays no role. I therefore argue for the view that the second law has nothing to do with the arrow of time.
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DOI 10.1016/s1355-2198(01)00016-8
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References found in this work BETA

The Direction of Time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Dover Publications.
Space, Time, and Spacetime.Lawrence Sklar - 1974 - University of California Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Taking Thermodynamics Too Seriously.Craig Callender - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):539-553.
Thermodynamic Asymmetry in Time.Craig Callender - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Origins of Time-Asymmetry in Thermodynamics: The Minus First Law.Harvey R. Brown & Jos Uffink - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):525-538.

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