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fig4:Boltzmann's View of the Second Law as a Law of Disorder: The active macroscopic nature of the second law posed a direct challenge to the "dead" mechanical world view which Boltzmann tried to meet in the latter part of the last century by reducing the second law to a law of probability following from the random collisions of mechanical particles (efficient cause (see Swenson (1990)). Following the lead of Maxwell who had modeled gas molecules as colliding billiard balls, Boltzmann argued that the second law was simply a consequence of the fact that since with each collision nonequilibrium distributions would become increasingly disordered leading to a final state of macroscopic uniformity and microscopic disorder. Because there are so many more possible disordered states than ordered ones, he concluded, a system will almost always be found either in the state of maximum disorder or moving towards it.

2 of 4 in UNIVERSAL ENTROPY AND DISORDER

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14. Nov 2009 00:04:47 EST
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