Arnold Sommerfield was right (see quote to RHS). However, this author has come to realize that it is not so much to do
with the subject matter as it has to do with how we have become too self assured that we do understand it, when our reality is that
traditional thermodynamics is truly a complication of the simple.
We all scoff at some of the lunacies of our 17th, 18th and perhaps
even 19th century sciences. For example the concept of heat/fire being a particle i.e. pholgiston, is today likened to the art of
bloodletting. Seemingly humanity has come a long way in the last few hundred years, or has it? Herein, we shall investigate why thermodynamics
is a poorly conceived science.
Certainly the powers in charge remain indignant to any notion of their science being second rate. Specifically,
the indignity that one may be part of complicating the simple will feel too perverse to most of those indoctrinated in traditional
thermodynamics. As Tolstoy quote points out (see RHS), human nature will prevent the vast majority of us from questioning any elevated
path that we have walked, especially if we have been bestowed with the applause of others.
Understandably such experts will put up
a wall, either refusing to answer their critics, or they will adhere to their complicated circular arguments thus in an attempt to
confuse their critics and possibly themselves. And of course they always can be retribution whereby the powers in charge threaten
peoples very livelihood just to ensure that they save face. A prime example being what happened to Paul Marmet
(a proff at Ottawa
University) click on Links
In order to understand just consider “entropy
”. A term that is used in almost every realm of the sciences,
yet it remains a thermodynamic parameter that lacks clarity. Just consider Shanon’s information, wherein the word entropy was chosen,
not only because its mathematical context resembled that often used in thermodynamics, but also because no one really knew what it
means, thus giving Shanon the upper hand in any argument.
Have you ever tried arguing against an illogical word without meaning? I
liken it to fishing on a moonless night and not knowing where the lake is. Sure your casts may be great, but so what when the lake
is not where you thought, and your lure is left hung up in tree.
To belittle entropy is demeaning to anyone doing research wherein
the term entropy involved. I once exchanged emails with someone studying entropy production in chemical reactions. It all sounds great
until a 5 yr old asks what does entropy mean? Sure the researcher can deduce a convoluted answer that will leave any 5 yr old completely
baffled, but what is the researcher really saying. When I once told the researcher that for the most part entropy is a complication
of the simple, and that generally its production can be associated with the work lost by expanding systems displacing our atmosphere,
well that certainly ended our emails. Perhaps the indignity of the idea that his research was belittled hurts too much. Perhaps his
computer failed and he is back to the pen and paper world. I really do not know what the real answer is.
Sure the powers at hand will
argue that what they say is backed by indisputable empirical data. Onto you, I state that such results are not in dispute. However
there are rules concerning experimental results.
Rule 1: Experimental results can only disprove a given theory. Too often we forget
this basic fact, as more than one given theory can readily explain a given indisputable result. When two or more theories equally
explain such a given result then one must apply Occam's razor rather than adhere to some pet theory, irrelevant of whether or not
that a theory is indoctrinated into our souls. To do otherwise is not to behold a clear unbiased scientific mind.
Rule 2: Experimental
results can be misconstrued due to the way the experiment is set up. Consider the vast majority of experiments on dilute gases. Herein,
closed systems are used to contain the dilute gases. What scientists have forgotten to ask is this. How does this affect our results?
It turns out that
the fact that dilute gas molecules do interact with the walls more often than with each other is part of the reason
that certain experimental results occur and that traditional thermodynamics is written the way it is.
Interestingly if we remove thermodynamic
walls and closed systems becomes open. At which point the ideal gas law, Avogadro’s hypothesis, kinetic theory, Maxwell’s velocities
etc etc all lose their validity. (see my blogs on “walls
” and “kinetic theory
”). In part this explains why traditional thermodynamics
does not apply to cosmology. I.e. results from experiments on gases in closed systems is limited to closed systems. This is not to
say that once we open a closed system of gas, that everything changes at that instant. Rather over time, once the walls are removed
then gas molecules will collide with other gas molecules exchanging both their energies and momentums. And as this process occurs,
the dynamics of the gases will slowly be altered.
The above is really an elaboration of experiments on high density gases wherein
the gases will interact with each other more often than with the closed system’s walls. Herein the ideal gas law, Avogadro’s hypothesis,
kinetic theory, Maxwell’s velocities etc also no longer apply.
Rule 3: When seeking an empirical result, or trying to explain an empirical
result, do not allow your pet theories to interfere with your logic. Doing so may blind you of reality. Or even cause you to adhere
to circular logic, something our 19th and early 20th century greats certainly did concerning entropy, the second law and lost work.
And yes current thermodynamic theory is riddled with circular results based upon circular self-serving thought processes.
is now dedicated to elaborating upon why traditional thermodynamics is a complication of the simple, and how then begin the discussion
of how we can improve upon it. Plus the hope of selling a copy or two of my book. A new revised edition should hopefully be out early
The quote that will always egg me on and hopefully will be egg in the face to Eddington’s reputation:"The law that entropy
always increases, holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory
of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be
contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the
second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation