An imaginary intelligent entity introduced in several → thought experiments, such as → Laplace's demon and → Maxwell's demon.
From L. dæmon "spirit," from Gk. daimon "deity, fate, fortune."
Pari "a good genius, a fairy," from Mid.Pers. parîk "sorceress, witch;" from Av. pairikā- "sorceress, witch."
1) To make evident or establish by arguments or reasoning; prove.
From L. demonstratus, p.p. of demonstrare "to show, point out," from → de- + monstrare "to show," from monstrum "sign, portent."
Padišidan, from Sogd. padēš "to show," ultimately from Proto-Ir. *apa-dais-, from *dais- "to show," cf. Av. daēs- "to show," related to andiš, → think.
1) The → act or → circumstance
of proving or being → proved conclusively, as
by → reasoning or a show of → evidence.
Verbal noun of → demonstrate.
A person or thing that demonstrates (Dictionary.com).
→ demonstrate; → -or.
Fr.: démon de Laplace
An imaginary super-intelligent being who knows all the laws of nature and all the parameters describing the state of the Universe at a given moment can predict all subsequent events by virtue of using physical laws. In the introduction to his 1814 Essai philosophique sur les probabilités, Pierre-Simon Laplace puts forward this concept to uphold → determinism, namely the belief that the past completely determines the future. The relevance of this statement, however, has been called into question by quantum physics laws and the discovery of → chaotic systems.
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.