An Etymological Dictionary of Astronomy and Astrophysics
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فرهنگ ریشه شناختی اخترشناسی-اخترفیزیک

M. Heydari-Malayeri    -    Paris Observatory

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Number of Results: 1 Search : Maxwell''s demon
Maxwell's demon
  پری ِ ماکسول   
pari-ye Maxwell

Fr.: démon de Maxwell   

A → thought experiment meant to raise questions about the possibility of violating the → second law of thermodynamics. A wall separates two compartments filled with gas. A little "demon" sits by a tiny trap door in the wall. He is able to sort hot (faster) molecules from cold molecules without expending energy, thus bringing about a general decrease in → entropy and violating the second law of thermodynamics. The → paradox is explained by the fact that such a demon would still need to use energy to observe and sort the molecules. Thus the total entropy of the system still increases.

Named after James Clerk Maxwell (→ maxwell), who first thought of this experiment; → demon.