Thursday, 28 July 2011

Laws of Thermodynamics

For those of you who found physics a struggle, here is a humorous (pessimistic-sounding) interpretation of the three laws of thermodynamics.

First Law:  You can't win, you can only break even.

Second Law:  You can only break even at absolute zero (the lowest temperature conceivable, minus 273.14 degrees celsius, or zero kelvin)

Third Law: You can't get to absolute zero (and indeed personally I wouldn't want to anyway).

So all appears to be lost!  But most of the physicists I know are surprisingly cheerful about it.

Flanders and Swann were pretty cheerful about it too.  (They were an entertaining duo who worked together from the 1960s.)  I defy you to keep a straight face as you listen to this.  (The pictures seem rather bizzare, but you don't need to look at them!)

I haven't mentioned the zeroth law.  Yes, there really is one!  Although it was discovered last, it was considered to be the most important basis for the others.

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