Thermodynamics and Energy


Maxwell's demon does not Violate the Second Law but Violates the First Law of Thermodynamics

Authors: Radhakrishnamurty Padyala

Maxwell’s Demon is believed to violate the second law of thermodynamics. Maxwell, who conceived of this being in 1867, did not believe that it violated the second law, but rather that it only highlighted the statistical validity of the law - with less than 100 percent certainty for its results - in contrast to the general view that thermodynamics gave results with 100 percent certainty. From then on, many other forms of challenges appeared. Some try to exorcise the demon by proposing new theories to prove that the second law is not violated by the demon, while others argue that the demon violated the second law. The debate has been continuing for the past nearly 150 years. We show in this article that Maxwell’s Demon does not violate the second law but violates the first law. This we show by demonstrating that the Maxwell’s Demon Process (MDP) can be incorporated as a step into a reversible cycle. Through this cycle, the system subjected to MDP can be restored to its original state without leaving any changes in the surroundings. Therefore, the cycle must be reversible. If such a reversible cycle involving MDP as one of its steps were to be impossible, then it must violate the first law. Violation of the first law by this reversible cycle can arise only if MDP violated the first law, as no other process in the cycle violates either the first law or the second law of thermodynamics.

Comments: 5 Pages.

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Submission history

[v1] 2013-10-21 08:18:05

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