A New Thermodynamics

Blog: Thermodynamic Myths

By Kent W. Mayhew

www.newthermodynamics.com

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Some thermodynamic myths

1) Entropy generation has relevance: Our reality is that perhaps it does but in all likelihood it does not. I apologize but one cannot determine this until someone explains just what entropy is! Fact is entropy has little to do about the randomness of a systemís molecules!

2) Expanding systemís entropy increase is lost work due to an increase in that systemís randomness. The reality is: Lost work by expanding systems is the energy/work lost in displacing our atmosphereís mass against gravity. See Lost Work

3) A system loses its ability to do work as its entropy increases. The reality is: The ability of a system to do work diminishes as its thermal energy density decreases. This holds for both thermal radiation and/or mechanical pressure: Note when pressure of a gaseous system equals that of its surroundings then the system can no longer power anything via mechanical force.

4) Entropy controls heat transfer: Again a definition of entropy would help. The reality is that thermal energy (heat) tends to flow from regions of high thermal energy densities to cooler one, i.e. net flow is hot to cold. So what!  The rate of transfer is called conducyivity and how much heat can be transferred is a function of its jeat capacity. I repeat so what does this have to do with entropy!

5) Work can be reversible. This is part of that illusionary mathematical concept of quasi-static & infinitesimal. In real life work is the expenditure of energy by a system onto its surroundings, resulting in the movement of objects. One may also envision work as energy that is changing an external objectís inertia. Hence work is NOT REVERSIBLE. It does not matter whether the work is done onto the atmosphere or used to move a car.

What about lifting a rock? Well sort of. See lifting a rock

6) Second law of thermodynamics. The reality is the second law is a complete and utterly bogus law as it is applied to all systems, when in fact it is limited to isolated systems hence the reality is it does not apply to any useful systems here on Earth and probably not anywhere else. See Second Law

7) All of a gaseous systemís energy can be extracted for work. Everyone realizes that few mechanical devices are anywhere close to being 100% efficient. What they fail to realize is that it is impossible to extract all the thermal energy within a system for the purpose of work. This is fundamental to what work vs energy is and has nothing to do with entropy.

8) Inter molecular collisions are elastic: The reality is that intermolecular collisions tends to be inelastic. Not only does this explain molecular dissipation, it also helps explain the fact that temperature increases with pressure. See Kinetic theory ,  My peer reviewed papers and/or my book.

9) Solubility needs entropy to be explained. This completely ridiculous contemplation must end. There is a simpler narrative trust me. I will get around to it in this website. Or see my book

 

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Sommerfield quote:"Thermodynamics is a funny subject. The first time you go through it, you don't understand it at all. The second time you go through it, you think you understand it, except for one or two small points. The third time you go through it, you know you don't understand it, but by that time you are so used to it, so it doesn't bother you any more."