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Maxwell’s demon and impossibility statements: Einstein on perpetuum mobile of the second kind

Weinstein, Galina (2022) Maxwell’s demon and impossibility statements: Einstein on perpetuum mobile of the second kind. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper discusses Maxwell’s demon thought experiment. In recent years, there has been extensive research on Maxwell’s demon. I first provide a detailed overview of important historical milestones of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment. Einstein would often write about both relativity and thermodynamics. In this paper, I first argue that: 1. Einstein spoke of a perpetuum mobile of the second kind (Maxwell’s demon) in the context of the discovery of his relativity theory, the famous chasing a light beam thought experiment, and the contraction of lengths. 2. He would often compare relativity with thermodynamics. 3. When
doing so, he would say that perpetual motion machines cannot exist. In the same category, no signal transmission faster than light is possible. 4. Einstein’s approach in speaking of the principles of thermodynamics and relativity suggests that he was occupied with impossibility statements. After discussing the essential aspects of Maxwell’s demon and the different ways of exorcising the demon, I examine the role of impossibility statements in Maxwell’s demon thought experiment.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Weinstein, Galinagaliweinstein.mc2@gmail.com
Keywords: Maxwell’s demon, Einstein, Feynman, recurrence, reversibility, Poincaré, Boltzmann, Loschmidt, Thomson, Thermodynamics, second law, L´eon Brillouin, Landauer, Bennett, Smoluchowski, Szilard, typicality
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Depositing User: Dr. Galina Weinstein
Date Deposited: 11 May 2023 13:02
Last Modified: 11 May 2023 13:02
Item ID: 22089
Official URL: https://arxiv.org/abs/2209.00504
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Date: 21 September 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22089

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