© 2005

Challenges to the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Theory and Experiment

  • This book presents a comprehensive and sober analysis of theories which test the second law of thermodynamics.

  • The second law of thermodynamics is a cornerstone of modern physical theory and this book is a must for those who want to understand its theoretical and philosophical underpinnings.


Part of the Fundamental Theories of Physics book series (FTPH, volume 146)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Pages 175-209
  3. Pages 239-266
  4. Pages 267-302
  5. Pages 303-334
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 335-355

About this book


The second law of thermodynamics is considered one of the central laws of science, engineering and technology. For over a century it has been assumed to be inviolable by the scientific community. Over the last 10-20 years, however, more than two dozen challenges to it have appeared in the physical literature - more than during any other period in its 150-year history. The number and variety of these represent a cogent threat to its absolute status. This is the first book to document and critique these modern challenges. Written by two leading exponents of this rapidly emerging field, it covers the theoretical and experimental aspects of principal challenges. In addition, unresolved foundational issues concerning entropy and the second law are explored. This book should be of interest to anyone whose work or research is touched by the second law.


dynamics entropy experiment gravitation gravity kinetics plasma science superconductivity thermodynamics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Charles UniversityPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.University of San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

Bibliographic information

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From the reviews:

"This volume, appropriately entitled Challenges, was a collaboration … . It is extraordinarily well researched and beautifully organized; it may be approached on many levels by students and ‘lay’ people … . It should also be read by experienced theoretical physicists, chemists and mathematicians and by experimental physicists … . The various typefaces, paper stock and binding are all good. With its many illustrations and few equations this book will be a useful supplement to any elementary course in thermodynamics … ." (Daniel C. Mattis, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 20 (3), 2006)

"Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics are two of the most difficult concepts for the student of physics. … In the main, Challenges to the second law of thermodynamics is an excellent piece of work which should provide an adequate coverage of this intriguing topic to advanced students and researchers in physics." (P. Narayana Swamy, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2008 b)