PBS Space Time

Reversing Entropy with Maxwell's Demon

Season 4 Episode 32 | 11m 36s | Video has closed captioning.

The second law of thermodynamics – the law that entropy must, on average, increase – has been interpreted as the inevitability of the decay of structure. This is … misleading. Structure can develop in one region even as the entropy of the universe rises. Ultimately, entropy is a measure of the availability of free energy – of energy that isn’t hopelessly mixed in thermal equilibrium.

Aired: 08/29/18

Rating: NR

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Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning