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Discuss the following comment of Panofsky and Phillips: “From the standpoint of formal physics there is only one concept which is asymmetric in the time, namely, entropy. But this makes it reasonable to assume that the second law of thermodynamics can be used to ascertain the sense of time independent of any frame of reference; that is, we shall take the positive direction of time to be that of statistically increasing disorder, or increasing entropy.” (see, in this connection, “the arrow of time,” by David Layzer, scientific American, December 1975, p, 56.)

Discuss the following comment of Panofsky and Phillips: “From the standpoint of formal physics there is only one concept which is asymmetric in the time, namely, entropy. But this makes it reasonable to assume that the second law of thermodynamics can be used to ascertain the sense of time independent of any frame of reference; that is, we shall take the positive direction of time to be that of statistically increasing disorder, or increasing entropy.” (see, in this connection, “the arrow of time,” by David Layzer, scientific American, December 1975, p, 56.)

Grade:11

1 Answers

Aditi Chauhan
askIITians Faculty 396 Points
6 years ago
The physical quantity entropy is a measurable quantity and describes the ability of the system to do work. Entropy is often associated with disorder and the second law of thermodynamics is sometimes cast as a statement that the disorder of a closed system always increases. The entropy of an isolated or self-contained system either increases or remains constant according as he processes it undergoes are irreversible or reversible. The system always tends toward the configuration with the greatest entropy.
Entropy of the system goes with particular direction of time, which is defined as arrow of time. The forward direction of the time signifies that the increase of disorder of the system results increase of entropy of the system. In accordance to the second law of thermodynamics, the entropy of the system does not depend upon the direction of time. But the arrow of time signifies that, the system only always tends toward the highly ordered configuration with one time direction. Therefore the arrow of time is based on the boundary conditions.

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